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Testifying before a House budget hearing, Attorney General Bill Barr said he expects to release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s partially-redacted report in the near future. Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes suggested nine ways the press can best cover the report upon its release. And Mikhaila Fogel shared an edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts featuring Jurecic’s reading the article:
Referencing the genesis of the FBI counterintelligence investigation into figures associated with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Barr said in subsequent Senate testimony that he believed “spying” had occurred, later walking back his comments. Wittes responded to Barr’s comments, writing “they were at once indecipherable and contentless, on the one hand, and incendiary, on the other hand.” Lev Sugarman shared livestreams of Barr’s testimony before the House and Senate appropriations committees. And Matthew Kahn shared a Lawfare Podcast: Bonus Edition featuring Susan Hennessey’s interview of former FBI Director James Comey, which dealt with Barr’s comments before turning to cybersecurity, encryption, China, and more.
Amid discussion over the redaction of grand jury material from the public version of the report, Jeremy Gordon analyzed the D.C. Circuit’s timely decision in McKeever v. Barr, ruling that district courts do not have the inherent authority to publicly release grand jury material. Stephen Bates discussed the effects McKeever could have for historians, journalists and Congress.
This week in immigration policy, a federal judge enjoined the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy requiring non-Mexican asylum seekers to return to Mexico while their proceedings are processed in the U.S. Sugarman shared the opinion in full, and Andrew Patterson unpacked the decision and explained where the litigation currently stands.
In other immigration news, Trump dismissed multiple senior Department of Homeland Security officials in charge of immigration policy. Steve Vladeck assessed the departures in light of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. And Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of Rational Security in which Scott Anderson, Shane Harris, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes discussed the tumult at DHS, the designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp as a terrorist organization and more:
Caitlyn Yates wrote on the U.S. cooperation with Panama on immigration enforcement.
Shibley Telhami and Stella M. Rouse reflected on public opinion data on Americans’ views of family separations at the border.
And Jessica Zhang analyzed the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Hamama v. Adducci on the availability of habeas relief for immigrants challenging their final orders of removal.
Moving to foreign policy, Sama’a Al-Hamdani wrote for the Foreign Policy Essay on the Houthi faction fighting in Yemen.
Todd Carney considered the faltering negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo and the role the U.S. could play.
Doug Stephens recapped recent tensions between the Philippines and China, a joint U.S.-Australia-Philippines exercise and more in the monthly Water Wars series.
Hady Amr analyzed the effects of the Israeli election on the future of the two-state solution.
Elena Chachko discussed the Trump administration’s use of targeted sanctions, both in singling out the IRGC and resisting International Criminal Court investigations.
And Jen Patja Howell shared a Lawfare Podcast episode featuring a discussion from the National Security Institute on U.S. policy on Yemen and Saudi Arabia featuring former staffers of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
On Thursday, Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested in London pursuant to a U.S. extradition request. Matthew Kahn posted the indictment, filed in 2018 and unsealed following his arrest, charging Assange with an alleged hacking conspiracy. And Nicholas Weaver considered what lies ahead in Assange’s extradition process in light of previous U.S. failures to extradite individuals charged under similar charges.
In technology policy, Cameron Kerry proposed language for data collection standards in light of discussions of a new federal privacy law.
Herb Lin argued that recently-developed principles for artificial intelligence ethics and governance should be applied to technology writ large.
Sugarman shared a new Department of Justice white paper on the Cloud Act.
And Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast featuring discussion of new social media regulations, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) activity in Silicon Valley and more:
Moving to terrorism policy and law, Steve Stransky discussed the need to consider how the Department of Homeland Security has previously combated domestic terrorism in light of recommendations to expand the National Counterterrorism Center’s mandate to include the threat.
Evelyn Douek assessed a new Australian law penalizing social media companies when they fail to remove violent content.
Rachael Hanna recapped last week’s proceedings in the United States v. Kahn military commission.
And Sugarman shared charging documents from two cases, including of a man who was inspired by the Islamic State to plot a vehicular attack in Maryland, and a man who threatened to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mn.).
In Huawei news, Stephanie Zable broke down the telecom firm’s lawsuit against the U.S. government. And Robert Chesney analyzed recent Justice Department filings providing notice of FISA-acquired evidence to assess Huawei’s relationship with China’s intelligence services.
Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast: Culper Partners Rule of Law Series in which David Kris and Nate Jones spoke to former White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler:
Sugarman shared an International Criminal Court decision rejecting the request of the court’s Prosecutor to investigate “the situation in Afghanistan,” including alleged U.S. war crimes.
Mikhaila Fogel shared the indictment of former White House Counsel Greg Craig for making false statements to the Justice Department.
Sugarman posted a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order clarifying that Matthew Whitaker did not bring any action before the court during his tenure.
Mikhaila Fogel posted sentencing memoranda filed in W. Samuel Patten’s Foreign Agents Registration Act case referred from the special counsel’s office.
Sugarman shared transcripts from the House Judiciary and Oversight committee’s October 2018 interviews with former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker.
And Sugarman shared a livestream of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jeffrey Rosen’s nomination as Deputy Attorney General.
And that was the week that was.