The Lawfare Podcast


The Jan. 6 Committee Takes On the Big Lie

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is midway through a blockbuster series of hearings exploring Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Central to those efforts, of course, was the Big Lie—the false notion that Trump was cheated out of victory in 2020.

This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Kate Starbird, an associate professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington—and repeat Arbiters of Truth guest. Kate has come on the show before to talk about misinformation and Jan. 6, and she and a team of coauthors just released a comprehensive analysis of tweets spreading misinformation around the 2020 election. So she’s the perfect person with whom to discuss the Jan. 6 committee hearings and misinformation. What does Kate’s research show about how election falsehoods spread, and who spread them? How has, and hasn’t, the Jan. 6 committee incorporated the role of misinformation into the story it’s telling about the insurrection? And is there any chance the committee can break through and get the truth to the people who most need to hear it?

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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?