The Lawfare Podcast


The Jan. 6 Committee Hearings, Day Five

It was Day Five of the House select committee hearings on Jan. 6. This time, the committee was focused on the president's efforts to pressure, and one may even say decapitate, the Justice Department to get it to put pressure on states on voter fraud matters and overturn the results of the 2020 election. In front of the committee were senior Justice Department officials who threatened to resign if an obscure environmental lawyer was made acting attorney general. 

It was another dramatic day of testimony, and to chew it all over, Benjamin Wittes sat down on Twitter Spaces with Lawfare senior editors Quinta Jurecic and Roger Parloff, and New York Times reporter Katie Benner, who broke the whole story of the coup attempt at the Justice Department shortly after it happened. They talked about whether they learned anything new. They talked about how the department officials came off: are they heroes or are they apparatchiks? And they talked about how all of it fits into the committee's larger story. 

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Rational Security: The “Small World After All” Edition

This week on Rational Security, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by favorite guestLawfareexecutive editor Natalie Orpett to hash through the week's big nationalsecurity news stories, including:“Another One Bites the Dust.” This past weekend, an American drone strikesuccessfully killed yet another major terrorist leader—this time al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri—in downtown Kabul, while apparently avoiding any civilian casualties or significant collateral damage. What does the strike tell us about the Biden administration's counterterrorism strategy and the role it plays in his broader global agenda?“Maybe He Just Mixed Up His St. Petersburgs.” In Florida, the Justice Department hasindicted Russian agent Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionovfor engaging in an array of political activities on behalf of fringe political candidates and organizations, with the alleged goal of promoting political instability at the Russian government's behest. What light does this indictment shed on Russian interference in American politics?“The Bully Cockpit.” Over reported objections from the Biden administration, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hasflown to Taiwan, making her the most senior U.S. official to visit the hotly contested island in more than two decades and raising China's ire at what many say is a sensitive moment. Is her trip helpful or foolhardy? And what does it tell us about Congress's role in U.S. foreign relations?