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The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

Katherine Pompilio
Friday, December 2, 2022, 5:08 PM

Your weekly summary of everything on the site.

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Roger Parloff discussed the defense presented by members of the Oath Keepers against charges of seditious conspiracy, the difficulty of proving a seditious conspiracy case without an explicit plan expressed, and the evidence introduced at trial that adds to the complexity of the case. 

Parloff also shared his thoughts on the verdict in the first Oath Keepers trial. He discussed the convictions and acquittals in the case, speculated on how the jury made distinctions between the various conspiracy charges, and shared what surprised him about the verdict.  

Katherine Pompilio shared the Eleventh Circuit’s Dec. 1 ruling reversing U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s order appointing a special master to review privilege claims over documents seized at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

Daniel J. Hemel discussed whether or not the House Ways and Means Committee should, as a normative matter, release former President Donald Trump’s tax returns before Republicans take control of the House in January.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck sat down to discuss the national security implications of the 2022 midterm elections, a recently released National Security Agency Inspector General report from 2016, the latest transfer from Guantanamo Bay, and more:

Quinta Jurecic and Scott R. Anderson sat down with Nikloas Gvosdev and Tatiana Serafin to discuss the week’s big national security news including: Chinese protests against Xi Jinping’s draconian zero-COVID policies, Jan. 6 staffers’ anger toward Rep. Liz Cheney for decisions to focus the committee’s final report on conduct related to former President Trump, and the Biden administration’s decision to ease sanctions on Venezuela:

Benjamin Wittes sat down with Sophia Yan, who recently left China, to discuss the current protests in China, what capacity the Chinese government has to shut them down, and whether these protests could just be the beginning:

Jordan Schneider sat down with Ling Li, lecturer at the University of Vienna, to discuss the origins and evolution of China’s zero-COVID policy, the different paths the Chinese Communist Party could take to crack down on the current protests, and what the protests reveal about modern China:

Schneider also discussed the recent and ongoing protests in China, what sparked the protests and where they’re headed, and what it all means for zero-COVID and the international situation:

Wittes also sat down with Stephan Haggard to discuss the events of recent weeks on the Korean peninsula, how it relates to past diplomacy between North Korea and the Trump administration, what message North Koreans are trying to send, and prospects for denuclearization:

Jocelyn Trainer considered the negative diplomatic effects of designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism (SST), how to best identify and counter Russian motivations, and argued for the creation of a “state aggressor” designation as an alternative to the SST designation. 

Valentin Weber weighed the pros and cons of NATO members potentially expanding their current weapons deliveries to Ukraine and Georgia to include offensive cyber weapons.

Stephanie Pell discussed the role of Microsoft as a “reliable reporter” through its efforts in understanding and combating Russian cyber offensives targeting Ukraine. She highlighted the critical role played by the private sector in cyber defense and resilience as well as Microsoft’s perspective on defending Ukraine against cyber warfare.

Pell also sat down with former Cyber Command lawyer Kurt Sanger to discuss the application of international law on offensive cyber operations. They talked about Sanger’s work at Cyber Command and his opinions on the various legal issues surrounding the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine:

Hadley Baker shared the Defense Department’s Zero Trust Strategy detailing the department’s new approach to countering cyberattacks. The strategy illustrates the department's new mindset of “never trust, always verify,” a departure from the previous perimeter defense policy. 

Yaya J. Fanusie discussed the geopolitical implications of mBridge, a blockchain technology pilot facilitating central bank digital currency transactions (CBDC). Fanusie also discussed the current U.S. framework for digital asset development and debates on whether the U.S. should create its own CBDC. 

David Morar and Bruna Santos assessed the Digital Services Act: a new piece of legislation recently passed in the European Union that regulates online platforms operating within the EU. Morar discussed the novelty of the DSA’s policy development, its unique approach to the concerns of various platforms, and the applicability of the legislation outside the EU. 

Stewart Baker sat down with Jim Dempsey, David Kris, and Maury Shenk to discuss the demonization of new technologies, the prosecution of Amesys and its executives in France for facilitating the torture of Libyan citizens, Elon Musk’s chances of withstanding the hostility of European and U.S. regulators, and more:

Anderson examined the historical use and interpretation of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) by the courts and executive branch, as well as the implications of its repeal, in the second of a two-part series on the history and interpretation of the AUMF. 

Wittes sat down with Anderson to discuss his recent two-part series on Lawfare about the history and interpretation of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force. They spoke about the history of the AUMF, its surprising rebirth, and the potential dangers of its continued life:

Diego A. Zambrano and Ludmilla Martins da Silva discussed the Brazilian Supreme Court’s use of aggressive judicial action to rebuff authoritarianism, what prompted those aggressive actions, and the risk of future authoritarians taking advantage of extreme uses of judicial power for their own benefit. 

Tyler McBrien sat down with Neta Crawford, Montague Burton Chair in International Relations at the University of Oxford, to discuss the military’s carbon emissions, how war drives emissions and industrialization, and why climate activists may be skeptical about framing climate change as a national security issue:

David Priess sat down with Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert at the RAND Corporation, to chat about the long nature of pandemics, the history of resistance to public health measures, the relationship between plagues and political violence, and more:

And McBrien shared the debut Lawfare crossword puzzle, written by Justice Department national security lawyer Brad Wiegmann. Try your hand at the puzzle here.

And that was the week that was.

Katherine Pompilio is an associate editor of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. with honors in political science from Skidmore College.

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