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The Lawfare Podcast

Author: The Lawfare Institute

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This is the podcast series from Lawfare, the web's leading multimedia web site devoted to national security law and policy. Visit us at www.lawfareblog.com.
399 Episodes
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In a recent white paper, the organization Protect Democracy makes the case that President Trump has used the powers of the presidency, federal resources, and intimidating rhetoric to manipulate election outcomes in the United States. The paper argues that the answer to this behavior is congressional action and offers recommendations for legislation on six issues ranging from preventing voter intimidation to requiring campaigns to disclose offers of financial assistance. Jessica Marsden, counsel for Protect Democracy, sat down to discuss it all with Benjamin Wittes.
David Priess sat down with Michael Desch, Professor of International Relations at the University of Notre Dame and the director of the Notre Dame International Security Center, to discuss Michael's new book, "Cult of the Irrelevant: The Waning Influence of Social Science on National Security." They discussed the different roles of social science in the policymaking process and the value of academic scholarship for policymakers. They also talked about the history of the relationship between the national security community and academia and about how to bridge the gap between these two worlds.
It’s the morning of April 25, 2016. At a hotel in London, a Maltese professor meets with a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. The two have been in touch over the past few weeks; the professor has been helping the young man connect with Russian officials. Now, over breakfast, the professor lets him in on a secret. On a recent trip to Moscow, high-level government officials told him that the Russians have “dirt” on Trump’s opponent. What was the “dirt” in question? “Emails,” he says. They have “have thousands of emails.” This is the fifth episode of our narrative audio documentary, The Report, which tells the story Robert S. Mueller lays out in his famous 448-page document. This is the story of three men associated with the Trump campaign: George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Paul Manafort.
Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley are the creators of the NPR podcast audio documentary White Lies, which deals with the murder of Rev. James Reeb in Selma, Alabama, during the Civil Rights Era. The podcast is an incredible historical investigation of an episode that many people had forgotten, and resonates remarkably in contemporary discussions of domestic terrorism, white supremacist violence, and many other things we're still talking about today. Benjamin Wittes talked with Andrew and Chip about how to tell the story of a murder that happened a long time ago, the FBI's role in investigating the crime at the time (what they did badly, and what they did right), and what it all says about terrorism today.
Sasha O'Connell is Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University, as well as AU's director of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy Masters program. She also had a long career at the FBI where she served in a variety of strategic management positions. She was basically the FBI's Chief Strategy Officer. She joined Ben Wittes in the Jungle Studio to talk about what it takes to turn a ship like the FBI when it comes to issues like IT, technology, and investigative focus—like changing an organization to focus on terrorism and then noticing that you also have to focus on cybersecurity. And they talked about how to make an organization like the FBI think about recruiting diversity.
The fourth episode of Lawfare’s narrative audio documentary, The Report, which tells the story Robert S. Mueller lays out in his famous 448-page document.  This is the story of two Trump Towers, one in Moscow and one in New York. While Donald Trump was assuring Americans that he had no business in Russia, Mueller describes how he was simultaneously endeavoring to build a skyscraper with his name on it in Russia’s capital. And he describes as well the now infamous Trump Tower meeting in Manhattan, where Russians offered to give the candidate “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Episode 1 covers the Russian social media campaign and the activities of the Internet Research Agency. Episode 2 focuses on the Russian hacking operation; the stealing of documents and emails from the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and figures associated with the Clinton campaign; and the leaks of the stolen materials timed to affect the U.S. election. The second episode tells the story of the GRU operations, the Russian attempts to cover their tracks, and the involvement of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Episode 3 covers the Trump campaign’s involvement in the distribution of hacked materials.  In the fourth episode, we take on two aspects of Volume I of the Mueller report that both involve Trump Towers. The first is the ill-starred effort to build a Trump Tower Moscow, which began long before the campaign and continued—notwithstanding repeated statements to the contrary by the candidate, his family, and hist campaign—through the spring of 2016. The second is the so-called Trump Tower meeting in July 2016, when a group of Russians met with Trump campaign officials offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton—and the campaign welcomed them. This episode features Anthony Cormier, Jason Leopold, Julia Ioffe and Quinta Jurecic. We continue to be delighted by the reception to this podcast series. We hope people continue to engage at such a high level with the material we putting together. Please continue to subscribe, rate, and share it widely. We are grateful to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Fund for their support for this project. If you want to support work of this type at Lawfare, please consider becoming a monthly donor by clicking here: Support Lawfare
The United Kingdom has a new Prime Minister. It also has a looming cliff it is careening toward and about to leap off of on Halloween of this year. This week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with his Brookings colleague Amanda Sloat to talk about all things Brexit. They talked about the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (and his hair), and his views on Brexit. They compared him to his American counterpart (and his hair). They talked about the deadlock between Britain and the European Union. And they talked about the way the Brexit debate plays out in American politics.
Over the years, presidents have used different language to describe the withholding of information from Congress. To discuss the concept of "executive privilege," Margaret Taylor sat down with Mark Rozell, the Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, and the author of "Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy and Accountability," which chronicles the history of the executive privilege in its many forms since the founding of the United States. They talked about what executive privilege is, what is new in the Trump administration's handling of congressional demands for information, and what it all means for the separation of powers in our constitutional democracy.
While Trump campaign officials engaged with the Russian social media manipulation operation as unwitting dupes, the story of the Trump campaign’s involvement with the GRU email hacking operation is more complicated. Episode three is entitled "The Campaign and the Leaks." It covers the Trump campaign involvement in the distribution of hacked materials. No American took part in the actual Russian hacking of Democratic emails, but when it came to actually releasing the stolen emails, the story is more complicated. First, the Trump campaign and associates had a number of direct and indirect interactions with Wikileaks about releases of stolen materials. And second, in what may be the most bizarre escapade of the entire Mueller report, the Trump campaign, including Trump himself, set out on a wild goose chase to get probably-fake Clinton emails from probably fake Russian hackers—even as real Russian hackers were busily releasing real Clinton campaign emails. In this episode we also tackle a section of Mueller’s report that is largely redacted in order o prevent harm to the ongoing prosecution of Roger Stone. As listeners will see, a great deal of what is behind those redactions can be gleaned from court filings in the Stone case, as well as from the special counsel’s draft plea agreement which Jerome Corsi declined to agree to and instead publicly leaked.  This episode features Shane Harris, Julia Ioffe, Quinta Jurecic, Mark Mazetti and Matt Tait. We are grateful to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Fund for their support for this project. If you want to support work of this type at Lawfare, please consider becoming a monthly donor by clicking here: Support Lawfare
Mary Ann Glendon is the chair of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, announced by Secretary Pompeo on July 8, 2019, to great controversy. The commission was charged with examining the bases of human rights claims and the extent to which they are or are not rooted in the American rights tradition. The response of the human rights community was swift and fierce, with a lot of skepticism, a lot of anger, and a lot of criticism. Mary Ann Glendon, the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, sat down with Jack Goldsmith to discuss the commission, what it is and isn't looking at, and why examining the root bases of human rights claims is a worthwhile endeavor for a State Department commission.
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Comments (39)

Terri Hunt

I listened to the White Lies podcast previously, but it was interesting to hear the hosts explain more background of the times in which this event happened. Thanks for this!!

Aug 19th
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Felix Bart

Terri Hunt Thanks for this~

Aug 20th
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N A Davis

The interview with Glendon was awful. She was evasive, misleading, and imprecise. Most political philosophy professors could have--and almost surely would have--done a much better job of explaining the distinctions between pre-political and positive rights. The interviewer tried valiantly--and in vain-- to get something other than waffles, evasions, and just plain nonsense from Professor Glendon. No luck. I am a big Lawfare fan and supporter. But this interview just was unacceptably bad.

Aug 3rd
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Kathi

This is fascinating, thank you for sharing and for your service!

Aug 1st
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Noah

Kathi Great

Aug 2nd
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jersey2777

thank you Mrs. Mendez for sharing a piece of this thrilling story!

Jul 28th
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Primo Russell

jersey2777 Thank you. It's good

Jul 29th
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Alex Hamilton

Do you by any chance have a mailing address for Robert Mueller that you could post? I would like to send him a letter.

Jul 25th
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Owen Jenkins

Alex Hamilton No, I don't. sorry!

Jul 26th
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W Bell

3

Jul 25th
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Michael Clifford

Excellent work. Looking forward to next ones.

Jul 24th
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Bess Gray

Michael Clifford looking forward to the next

Jul 24th
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Andrew Lyons

The Report?.... I can't find it

Jul 15th
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Diane Thompson

I really appreciated this session! Gave me a lot to think about regarding impeachment...I like the "middle ground" of sensure as opposed to full impeachment

May 6th
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Jim Higgs

So the Quinnipiac poll is the same level as the amount of people that wanted Nixon impeached in October of 1974. That argument does not hold water.

May 6th
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Terri Hunt

Again....appreciate the dive into the nuance, which is where life exists.

May 1st
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Accordionbabe

349 lost host and possibly other guests audio toward the end of episode. Could you do an updated version later? Audio reactions possibly?!?

Apr 20th
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Peter Quirk

I'd love to hear a follow-up discussion with constitutional law professor and former executive President Obama!

Apr 16th
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Accordionbabe

broken source re alien episode.

Feb 20th
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Accordionbabe

Culver Rule of Law podcast is excellent and necessary. Thank you, Lawfare. Yet more to learn from you.

Feb 16th
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Accordionbabe

Audio extremes most annoying. One person sounds as if shouting, followed by another indecipherable soto voce. Your content is too important to have such volume imbalances.

Feb 4th
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Accordionbabe

Shorts podcast a welcomed addition. More, please!

Jan 31st
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Rose Marie Stevenson

Barr episode won't play, says problem with source

Jan 20th
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@blueridgewv

The volume of the podcast is too low compared to others.

Jan 14th
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Terri Hunt

Feels like the loose threads are starting to come together. Can't quite see the full picture yet, but...feels like we will get there.

Jan 9th
Reply
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