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An Insider View of Trump's Second Indictment
On Friday, June 9, a federal court in Florida unsealed an indictment charging former President Donald Trump with willfully retaining national defense information, refusing to return it, and obstructing related investigations. The 38 counts allege that Trump violated the Espionage Act, conspired to obstruct justice, withheld and hid documents, and caused false statements to be made to federal investigators and a grand jury.Espionage Act cases are complex and important. They often require prosecutors to balance the need to protect sensitive intelligence information from being disclosed at trial with a defendant’s constitutional and due process rights not to be convicted by secret evidence. And disclosure of classified information can expose critical sources and methods of intelligence, including human sources, to harm.Joining us to explain how Espionage Act prosecutions work, and what to expect in Trump’s case, is David Aaron. David is a Senior Counsel at the Washington, D.C., and New York offices of the law firm Perkins Coie. Before joining private practice, David was a prosecutor with the Justice Department’s National Security Division. He’s prosecuted Espionage Act violations and has seen how the process works from the inside. Show Notes: David AaronRyan Goodman (@rgoodlaw)David’s Just Security article on the Classified Information Procedures Act Just Security’s Espionage Act coverageMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)Music: “Covert Affair” by Kevin MacLeod from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/kevin-macleod/covert-affair (License code: Z20AS7IAZ04VZZBR)
The Classification Process Declassified
From Donald Trump to Joe Biden, presidents have made a lot of news for keeping classified documents in their homes and offices. Presidential classification and declassification is a mysterious process that often unfolds away from public view. President Trump even famously claimed that he could declassify a document just by thinking about it.Trump's comments raised an important question: What exactly is the process for presidents to classify and declassify information? The answer matters because classified documents can contain some of the United States’ most closely guarded secrets, including the location and identities of intelligence sources abroad. Declassification is equally important for promoting government accountability, and helping the public understand government policies and actions. To help us understand how the presidential classification and declassification process works in practice, we have Brian Greer and Wendy Leben. For nearly a decade, Brian was an attorney in the CIA's Office of General Counsel. And Wendy was a senior intelligence analyst in the Department of Defense for 13 years, including seven deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Show Notes: Brian Greer (@secretsandlaws)Wendy LebenBrian and Wendy’s Just Security article analyzing U.S. government classification and declassification processesJust Security’s classified information coverage19:20 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)Music: “Backed Vibes” by Kevin MacLeod from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/kevin-macleod/backed-vibes (License code: K8XOQNJSNLOU5C8G)
FISA Section 702 Reauthorization
This year, a key U.S. national security law is set to expire. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has many moving parts, but the gist is that it allows the government to collect the communications of foreigners who are abroad, to gain foreign intelligence information, including when those people communicate with Americans inside the United States. And it can do that without a warrant. In practice, this means that intelligence agencies can order email services, like Google and Yahoo, to hand over copies of the messages of targeted foreigners to intercept the phone calls, texts, and internet communications to or from a foreign target.In the past, reauthorization by Congress was pretty much routine, and some new modifications and procedural safeguards have been added over the years. But this year could be different. A series of recent government reports and court opinions have shown extensive use of Section 702 as a domestic surveillance tool by the FBI. There have been numerous incidents of FBI agents pushing, and sometimes breaking, legal limits on accessing the data of Americans that is “incidentally” collected as part of a Section 702 search. Politics are also at play. Some members of Congress, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, have said they oppose reauthorization. To understand how the Biden administration is thinking about the Section 702 reauthorization, Just Security’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Tess Bridgeman sat down with Chris Fonzone and Josh Geltzer. Chris is the General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Josh is Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor at the National Security Council. Show Notes:Chris FonzoneJosh GeltzerJust Security’s FISA Section 702 coverage36:55 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX) Music: “Eyes Closed” by Tobias Voigt from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/tobias-voigt/eyes-closed (License code: XTRHPYM1ELYU8SVA)
A New Era for U.S. Asylum?
This week a U.S. public health measure known as Title 42 came to an end. The U.S. is supposed to allow people fleeing persecution to seek asylum. But Title 42 allowed the Department of Homeland Security to turn away asylum-seekers if detention centers lacked the room to hold them during the asylum vetting process. The policy made it difficult for migrants to even apply for asylum in the first place. They would often be released back into Mexico. But now, the old rules are back in place, and thousands of asylum seekers who have been stuck in limbo are poised to seek asylum again.The Biden administration is also rolling out a new set of policies designed to address asylum claims before migrants physically reach the U.S. border. It’s created a mobile app which people can use to schedule an appointment with immigration officials and the State Department is working on plans to open regional processing centers throughout the Western hemisphere. The new measures could upend a simple idea at the heart of a complex immigration system: that people fleeing violence and persecution have the chance to find refuge in the United States. That change has massive implications for those who live in the U.S. and those trying to reach it. To help us understand the end of Title 42 and what comes next we have Adam Cox, Michelle Hackman, and Cristina Rodriguez. Michelle is a reporter who covers immigration at the Wall Street Journal. Adam and Cristina are law professors at NYU and Yale respectively. They wrote a book called “The President and Immigration Law.” Show Notes: Adam Cox (@adambcox) Michelle Hackman (@MHackman)Cristina Rodríguez (@cmrodriguez95)Adam and Cristina’s Just Security article analyzing the end of Title 42Just Security’s asylum coverageMichelle’s Wall Street Journal reporting 32:18 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
A Guilty Verdict in the Proud Boys Trial
On May 4, 2023, a jury in Washington, D.C. found four Proud Boys leaders, including former Chairman Enrique Tarrio, guilty of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Proud Boys were the “tip of the spear” in planning and carrying out the January 6th attack. They tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. To help us understand what the verdict means, what’s missing, and what comes next, we have Tom Joscelyn and Mary McCord. Tom was a senior staff member on the House January 6th Committee and a lead drafter of its final report. He is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Reiss Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law. Mary is Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She previously held senior national security roles at the Justice Department. Mary is a member of Just Security’s Editorial Board. Show Notes: Tom Joscelyn (@thomasjoscelyn) Mary B. McCordTom’s Just Security article analyzing the conduct of some January 6th defendants Mary and Jacob Glick’s Just Security article on anti-democracy schemes and paramilitary violence and Mary’s articleanalyzing seditious conspiracy charges Just Security’s January 6 ClearinghouseJanuary 6th Committee final report33:20 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of national security, foreign policy, and rights. We aim to promote principled solutions to problems confronting decision-makers in the United States and abroad. Our expert authors are individuals with significant government experience, academics, civil society practitioners, individuals directly affected by national security policies, and other leading voices.