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
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Recent Reviews
  • joel88s
    A, quote, excellent, end quote, episode
    An intriguing sampling this week from what sounds like a fascinating book on Trump and the presidency, marred only by Ben Wittes’s unfortunate insistence on didactically bracketing every single use of quotation marks with “quote....end quote” as if he were reading testimony into a court record rather than a book to an audience, thereby lending even his melifluous delivery the consistency of a mouthful of rock candy, and at times almost evoking Victor Borge’s Phonetic Punctuation routine. I hope he will have many occasions to read from this book in the future, and that he will learn to give his audiences credit for being able to understand when a three-word quotation ends, and read like a normal person reading fine prose aloud.
  • sfncar
    Committee report
    Thank you so much for the excellent committee report episode! It’s a long, long read and you folks just made it easier for me to take my time and give it the attention it deserves. The discussion of “what to do about Jeffrey Clark” was particularly worthwhile — it made me feel better about my ongoing confusion about this. Thank you all so much. Don’t know where we’d be without you!
  • mayakittiekat
    Really necessary podcast for our times
    Appreciate the information and insight offered in every podcast
  • JCMargerison
    If only they could hear themselves.
    The cognitive dissonance is comical to the objective listener. Listening to them try to convince each other of the consistency of their positions while repeating proven fallacies is hilarious. One tentatively points out an inconsistency, begging to be corrected. The other repeats the same failed argument at increased volume, and the first mumbles “I see, of course that makes sense.” These intellectuals have been broken by Trump.
  • Andrew Roqud
    The Disgruntled Data Broker
    I am a fan & avid listener of this podcast. With that preface I must say it’s a shame there is always some one out there who finds the need to villainize good business. The data broker episode had a clickbait headline if I have ever seen one. Nothing in this episode proved that our industry is a “national threat”. The biggest aggregator is actually the government itself. There are more no sign warrants & subpoenas forcing data companies to turn over location data and violate privacy rights to us citizens simply to see who was where, & when. I can tell you what. I highly doubt there are many instances where military member/government officials information is sought with nefarious intentions in mind. Lastly you made no mention of current legislation already in place with which data being sold for different industries and uses has to be generated/aggregated in a compliant fashion. For example those health insurance companies must be listed in a websites privacy policy and terms and conditions that consumers agree to the moment they fill out their information. Talk about something else. You made ZERO effort to back up this clickbait Title. -A Data Broker
  • yossarian1983
    Great policy-focused news analysis
    This is a great program for wonky discussions of federal legal and national security policy. I’ve listened since 2019 and my only criticism is the frequent lack of opposing opinions on the show. It can be a bit of an echo chamber of voices who’ve spent careers within the foreign policy/national security world and at times some discussions can sound comically disconnected from the experiences of regular people, but it’s enlightening to hear these candid perspectives from the elites of the policymaking world. The latest episode with author Spencer Ackerman breaks that echo chamber a bit and introduced some evocative debate to the program. I think it’s one of their best episodes yet so if you’re new to Lawfare that’s a great place to start.
  • TulsaAlgebraTeacher
    Informed, reasoned, and fair. Very interesting and highly recommended.
  • Emmabates
    This is one of the first podcasts i listen to each week (Rational Security had been the first, RIP). I learn about so many things i hadn't realized were important.
  • Grateful in Jersey
    Zack Beauchamp
    Thank you, thank you for answering my question for the past 5 years at least…who are the people that blindly follow Trump and what are their real motivations? I’ve never believed they are people who were “left behind economically”. Pat New Jersey
  • jarnold palmer
    Love this podcast
    Pretty unmatched in both quantity and depth. The Arbiters of Truth series has been incredibly useful to me. Each host has their own strengths, although Wittes can be a bit grating and condescending at times. The recent addition of ads is understandable, but they are jarring and feel dropped in. I think It would behoove Lawfare to find sponsors with products that are at least tangentially related to their relevant audience. Are companies not interested in a podcast whose audience consists of lawyers?
  • Cquilling
    I love Lawfare! But fix the ad volume
    Lawfare has grown so much and I’m very happy they have, but the ads are WAY too loud. I can’t leave a comment because I’m not on Twitter or Facebook, so not sure how to bring this up? Please fix it! Otherwise keep it up!
  • cgyyg
    Time to talk about it ... candidly. The US Counterintelligence program has been front and center ... in the crosshairs??? ... for each of the last five years, and yet the WH still has not appointed a new NCIX/NCSC. Lawyers, who are really good with NatSec law - and they are, to be sure - does not a CI expert make.
  • Dovahpod
    Missing the Mark on Wray
    The discussion regarding Wray’s statements to Congress regarding Jan 1 miss the mark. The two central reasons were conservative white men being blinded to the dangers of white men, or being scared of Trump. There is ZERO discussion of Barr’s memo prohibiting ANY investigation into candidates issued at the beginning of 2020. The issue is not Wray trying to deflect from the FBI; the issue is Barr requiring pre-approval of investigations into candidates, or issues touching on candidates. The failure to consider anything other than the DIOG and draw conclusions from it is a glaring omission.
  • Rita L H
    Clear analysis of Jan6 Select Committee
    Ben discussed strategies & possible results of the “Jan 6 House Select Committee”. I particularly appreciated Molly, Quinta, & Ben’s detailed exploration if what’s at stake for the USA, for Congress, and for the police officer victims of the Jan 6 Insurrection. Thank you
  • Atlas2029
    This podcast continues to shine a light on the most important legal and political issue we face as a democracy! The discussion is clear and thoughtful. The hosts and quests are excellent.
  • Ro111123456775421
    Horrible, loud ads now
    This used to be a great podcast. The content is fantastic, very deep, professional, and informative. Recently it changed so now it HAS A LOUD SCREAMING AD RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PODCAST. So stupid and insulting. What do you think it’s like to be listening to an interesting conversation while driving your car and ALL OF A SUDDEN PEOPLE ARE SCREAMING AN ADVERTISEMENT? I unsubscribed immediately. What a waste. What poor judgment.
  • anonymus citizen
    Thank you Lawfare and Brookings for being such a solid source of intelligent discussion! I’ve found all of your insightful voices indispensable. Your work has been a well appreciated service and invaluable resource to me, especially inconsideration of the state of our current sociopolitical, sociocultural, & media ecosystems today. Timely, refreshing, & illuminating. Thank you kindly!!
  • DinkMeeker
    It’s really good
    Really really good
  • Daisybrink
    Intelligent and Balanced
    Interesting, thoughtful, and informative. I deeply appreciate all the contributors and guests And their analysis, wit, maturity, and depth of expertise. During the Trump administration Lawfare provided such important context to understand the gravity of the presidency, congressional power (or lack thereof), impact of disinformation/misinformation on our democracy, and so much more. I am forever grateful to this podcast.
  • Crstewart61
    This podcast will change your life and could change the workd
    This podacast will change your life. It changed mine. Domain experts focused on subject broad and narrow pursuing facts and offing’s considered opinions. What this world needs now. Keep up the awesome work
  • *dOrY*
    More, please, sir.
    very much worth your time; the reasoning and aruguments take the conversation to the next level my life is thoroughly enhanced
  • PR0957
    Great Pod
    I subscribe to this podcast because they provide deep dives into areas of politics and law. Try it, you’ll like it! And you’ll learn a lot.
  • Noa Balboa
    Oh my god
    Our life will never be the same now that we discovered the Lawfare podcast. For real, though, good solid legal analysis of current events, featuring some of the best legal minds available.
  • Hotsexypants
    Pretty Neat
    OMG my life will never be the same now that I found Lawfare
  • Trishmck
    I would listen to a podcast on dust if it were hosted by Ben Wittes.
    And I sometimes find the Lawfare podcast a little dry, but always erudite, balanced and worth my time.
  • Missdulcemia
    My life will never be the same
    “Oh my god, my life will never be the same after listening to the Lawfare podcast.” Seriously though, I don’t need to quote that for it to be true. I love listening to this podcast. It’s informative and engaging. I look forward to every episode. Thank you for making me smart.
  • BenQuintafanboy
    Oh my god, life will never be the same…
    …now that I have found this podcast. I feel I have a perch at Brookings, where I can learn. Most importantly, I get precise explanation of what ISN’T known, that compensates for the exaggeration, spin, and reckless inferential leaps of other news sources. Ben and Quinta routinely blow me away.
  • rasm0225
    Per Ben’s Request
    Oh my God, my life is not the same now that I’ve discovered the Lawfare Podcast.
  • PerryBorenstein
    This is an important podcast-update 12-21-2020
    Lawfare is a surprising podcast. It is deep and wide, and presented with appropriate seriousness. The recent conversation with Lt. Col. (Ret.) Vindman on the international challenges we face as a nation is a reminder that the world is a complex challenge, but not one we cannot meet if we restore our faith in knowledge, science, expertise and education. It doesn’t require one view, but it must avoid cults of personalities. The issues are complex, but we have the tools as a democracy to meet them head on.
  • scotch62
    One of the best
    Easily one of the best podcasts out there to inform the general public on the workings of the law.
  • Regi57
    Great, but...
    I’ve learned a lot from this podcast about how the constitution informs the laws and prosecutions, or lack thereof, of government actors and US law/policy vis a vis foreign policy. Vindman is a great addition and the guests are almost always top notch. But please, Scott A, slow down your speech! Keep in mind that many of your listeners are not legal scholars or gov’t experts so we have to both hear and make sense of your valuable insights. That’s hard to do when you talk so fast.
  • E. Y. Davis
    Lawfare podcast
    It has been very gratifying to watch the growth of this pod over the past 6 years or so that I’ve followed it. It brings the rich assets of Brookings to a wide audience with accessible, well prepared, relatively neutral(I believe) presentations. During the time that it has grown snd added certain specialized “sub-pods” the overall need for this kind and quality of reporting, scholarship, and educational initiatives has gown tremendously. This is one of my main sources of reliable international news. This pod has arrived in a time of tremendous need for just this content provided by just these talented and committed anchoring scholars.
  • J Lorne
    Listen to Blowback, not Slow Burn
    Blowback is a well-researched, clear-eyed assessment of the Iraq War. Slow Burn is a limp attempt at hand waving revisionism.
  • agendasettingscholar
    Leftist outlet.
    Very unbalanced.
  • Peter Guillam
    Ben Wittes Stays Mum
    Ortho Domestic Terrorists beat on Gentiles. The Wittes of Benjamin says nothing. The Criminally Indicted and On Trial Boss Bibi fails to form a government. The Wittes of Benjamin says nothing. Jerusalem Cops do the Full Derek Chauvin on Muslims in prayer. The Wittes of Benjamin says nothing. Ron Derner says The Land of Meir Kahane must focus on Obedient American Born Agains and NOT Disobedient American Jews. The Wittes of Benjamin says nothing. Bibi launches air strikes and rolls out the tanks to slaughter children. The Wittes of Benjamin says nothing. The Wittes’s Personal Hump, Liddle Scottie, chants Bothsidesism. The Wittes of Benjamin says nothing. Nothing on Lawfare. Nothing on Irrational Security, employment agency for Miss Susie. Nothing on In Lieu of Fun. Nothing on Twitter. Nothing on the train ride to that Bastion of White Dixie Freedom, Miami Beach. Again it is proven that Blind Obedience to the Land of Meir Kahane is strong in the Wittes of Benjamin.
  • Badger1Bob
    Subscribe to this Pod
    Episode on Kash Patel, former Devin Nunez side plenty scary stuff. “Trump wanted or planned on pushing right through January 20”. Wow. Ben Wittes with superb analysis.
  • Listener2007
    Consistently good
    This podcast is always informative and the guests are great too.
  • Freddie bag of donuts
    Good grief
    They are back to Russia.
  • Gedd0711
    Unparalleled insight and analysis
    Trusted and proven experts discussing critical topics in a balanced way. Couldn’t ask for much more.
  • Cuomo Interview
    Sean Li 😒
    Love this podcast! But at what point did guests and spokespeople start inserting the words “like” and “right?” And “like, right?!” As a filler ALL THE TIME?! After every sentence!
  • Otis Junior Nixon Jr.
    Looking forward to Hunter Biden
    Good reporting on Trump. Now looking forward to the podcast about Hunter Biden and what the Chinese and Ukrainians gained by giving the Vice President’s unqualified son a lot of money to sit on couple of Boards.
  • Raging Rose
    A must-listen
    So authoritative, so in-depth, so worthwhile.
  • damvenrak
    You lose it when pretend to talk seriously about subjects you have neutered with your moral positioning. Dig?
  • Kev A
    Excellent podcast
    I don’t always agree with everything on Lawfare, but I always enjoy this podcast and find it thought provoking. In some cases I don’t initially agree, but after some much provoked thought my mind is changed. This podcast is time well spent.
  • jkbulldvm
    Great discussions of facts, policy. Very detailed for full information.
  • Lili53160
    Vindman episode
    Great guest! His insight is so needed. I was annoyed with the host calling him minister at the end when he was clear about that.
  • Das731
    Excellent Insight
    This podcast gives me a legal insight into what the law is for situations from lawyers that have served in the area of discussion. I found it extremely valuable. Alex Vindman is a nice addition to the team.
  • Luchi7707
    Love this podcast
    Intelligent, balanced, respectful, fact and science based, current - the only podcast I trust to give me No Bull. Love it and proselytize over it! Love Ben Wittes and his keen mind.
  • Denise Sy
    Can the piano stop please
    I have tried to
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