The Lawfare Podcast


The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


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The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show Hosted on Acast. See for more information.






The CLOUD Act Five Years Later

Next month will mark the five-year anniversary of the CLOUD Act, a foundational piece of legislation on cross-border data transfers and criminal investigations. Before he was a University of Minnesota law professor and senior editor at Lawfare, Alan Rozenshtein worked in the Department of Justice where he was a member of the team that developed the CLOUD Act. In that capacity, he interacted with representatives from the large tech companies that would be most directly affected by the law....


“Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends,” with Linda Kinstler and Sam Moyn

Last December, a German court convicted a 97-year-old former Nazi camp secretary of complicity in the murder of more than 10,000 people in what the media called—once again—the last Nazi trial. After almost eight decades, the Holocaust is still being litigated, remembered, and all-too-often misremembered. Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Linda Kinstler, author of the book, “Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends,” and Sam Moyn, a professor of both history and...


ChatGPT Tells All

You've likely heard of ChatGPT, the chatbot from OpenAI. But you’ve likely never heard an interview with ChatGPT, much less an interview in which ChatGPT reflects on its own impact on the information ecosystem. Nor is it likely that you’ve ever heard ChatGPT promising to stop producing racist and misogynistic content. But, on this episode of Arbiters of Truth, Lawfare’s occasional series on the information ecosystem, Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes sat down with ChatGPT to talk...


Even More Classified Documents

It seems like everyone has classified documents stashed away these days. First, it was Donald Trump, with the Justice Department investigation into documents stored improperly at Mar-a-Lago. Then, it was Joe Biden, with news that documents bearing classification markings were found at Biden’s Wilmington home and at the Penn Biden Center. And now, former Vice President Mike Pence has also uncovered classified materials at his home. What on earth is going on? Lawfare senior editor Quinta...


Roger Parloff with a Proud Boys Trial Update

For the last several days, Lawfare senior editor Roger Parloff has been in court covering the Proud Boys trial on a live blog on Lawfare. The trial took a two-day break the other day, so Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes sat down with Roger to catch up on what is proving to be a grueling presentation of evidence. They talked about how the government has been doing in presenting its case against Enrique Tarrio and the other Proud Boys, where the defense has scored points, what evidence...


Rational Security: The “M1 Abrams Accords” Edition

This week on Rational Security, Quinta and Scott were joined by special guest Michel Paradis to talk over the week's big national security news, including: providing the country with tanksslapped new sanctionstrying someone under state criminal laws barring material support for terrorism Support this show Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


Lawfare Archive: Brad Moss on Presidential Power and Security Clearances

From August 18, 2018: The President of the United States this week stripped the former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance in a dramatic White House statement by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The White House is threatening more adverse security clearance actions against presidential critics, and former senior security officials are outraged. Benjamin Wittes sat down Friday afternoon with Bradley Moss, who represents people in security clearance revocation processes,...


Gavin Wilde and Justin Sherman on Russia’s Information War and Regime Security

Russia’s use of information warfare during the 2016 U.S. presidential election period focused attention on Russia’s weaponization of information in its effort to influence a U.S. election outcome and sow discord across the American public. But to the extent that we only view Russian information warfare as an aggressive or expansionist expression of Moscow’s foreign policy, we may misunderstand some key tenets of Russian information warfare doctrine. To gain a better understanding of the...


Finland’s NATO Bid, Interrupted

Turkish President Erdoğan has thrown a giant wrench into Sweden's NATO membership bid after a protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. This, in turn, affects Finland's application to the alliance because Sweden and Finland applied to and intended to join the alliance concurrently. Lawfare publisher David Priess sat down with Minna Ålander, research fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, to talk about how we got here, about what Finnish leaders have been saying...


Anna Bower on Judge McBurney's Deliberations

Judge Robert McBurney of the Superior Court of Fulton County held a hearing on Tuesday to decide whether or not to release the Fulton County Special Grand Jury's report on 2020 election interference in Georgia. Lawfare's Fulton County correspondent Anna Bower was in the room live-blogging the matter, and Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes caught up with her right after the hearing to talk it through. Why did the district attorney argue that the report should continue to be sealed for...


Lynzy Billing on Afghanistan's Zero Unit Night Raids

In 2019, investigative journalist and photographer Lynzy Billing went to Afghanistan to investigate a very personal story: her own past. In the process, she discovered what she came to call a classified war, one with lines of accountability so obscured that no one had to answer publicly for operations that went wrong. Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Lynzy to talk through her four-year investigation, published last month in ProPublica. They discussed Afghanistan's shady...


When States Make Tech Policy

Tech policy reform occupies a strange place in Washington, D.C. Everyone seems to agree that the government should change how it regulates the technology industry, on issues from content moderation to privacy—and yet, reform never actually seems to happen. But while the federal government continues to stall, state governments are taking action. More and more, state-level officials are proposing and implementing changes in technology policy. Most prominently, Texas and Florida recently passed...


Chatter: A Post-Presidency Done Right with Jean Becker

For almost 25 years, until his death in November 2018, former president George H. W. Bush's chief of staff was Jean Becker. For event after event through both the best of those times and the worst—from dozens of affirming trips overseas to several parachute jumps in his latter years to many funerals—Becker was there to schedule it, plan it, manage it, and often attend it. All of this has given her a uniquely wide and deep understanding of the challenges and rewards of a long...


Lawfare Archive: The Past, Present and Future of Sovereign Immunity

From December 11, 2020: This week, the Supreme Court returned once again to the complex and sometimes controversial Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, or FSIA, that protects foreign sovereigns from litigation before U.S. courts. At the same time, Congress is once again debating new exceptions to the protections provided by the FSIA on issues ranging from cybercrime to the coronavirus pandemic, an effort that may risk violating international law and exposing the United States to similar...


Biden's National Security Presidency So Far with Chris Whipple

We have just ended Biden's first two years as president, and it's a great time to reflect back on the wild national security ride we’ve had. In fact, Chris Whipple has just done that by publishing his book, “The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House,” a deeply reported book that contains many interviews with Biden's inner circle. Lawfare publisher David Priess spoke with Chris about the transition from Trump to Biden, Biden's decision to pull out of Afghanistan, Russia's...


Lifting the Veil on Fusion Centers

In the wake of September 11, 2001, federal law enforcement agencies were caught flatfooted when they realized that they'd had the intel to prevent the attack on the homeland, but they'd failed to connect those dots. Fusion centers were born out of an abundance of caution to share and streamline counterterrorism information between the federal level and state and local levels. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has supported the development of a national network of 80 fusion...


Halkbank Hits the Supreme Court

In 2019, the U.S. government took a step that it had never taken before. It brought criminal charges against a foreign state-owned bank, Turkiye Halk Bankasi, or Halkbank, which is majority-owned by the country of Turkiye (until recently known as Turkey), for evading U.S. sanctions on Iran. Turkiye in turn argued that such a move was not only unprecedented but prohibited by the legal immunities it is entitled to under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, or FSIA. Yesterday, those arguments...


How a Spy in Your Pocket Threatens the End of Privacy, Dignity, and Democracy

Lawfare fellow in technology policy and law Eugenia Lostri sat down with Laurent Richard and Sandrine Rigaud to talk about their new book, “Pegasus: How a Spy in Your Pocket Threatens the End of Privacy, Dignity, and Democracy.” Laurent is the founder and executive director of Forbidden Stories, and Sandrine is its editor-in-chief. Along with Amnesty International’s Security Lab, they led the investigative effort by 17 international media organizations that in July 2021 exposed how some...


Lawfare Archive: Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace on White Lies

From August 17, 2019: 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...


Rational Security: The “Sincerest Form of Flattery” Edition

This week on Rational Security, a Quinta-less Alan and Scott were joined by their Lawfare colleagues senior editor Molly Reynolds and managing editor Tyler McBrien to talk over some copycat-ing that's been taking place in the national security space, including: Support this show Hosted on Acast. See for more information.