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KPCC Reviews First Day of Impeachment Hearings with William C. Banks

What We Learned From The First Day Of Impeachment Inquiry Hearings

(KPCC Los Angeles | Nov. 13, 2019) The start of public impeachment hearings took place before Congress. It’s the first time the American public could watch and listen to the witnesses surrounding the impeachment investigation.

State Department official George Kent and top diplomat to Ukraine William Taylor testified before the House Intelligence Committee. They previously met with House Democrats and provided private testimonies. The hearing operated along party lines. In the several hours of testimony, witnesses were met with questions from Democrats and Republicans concerning Trump’s push for an investigation into the Bidens and the possibility of a quid pro quo …

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Watch: Robert B. Murrett Interviews Ambassador Ryan Crocker

At the Rumsfeld Foundation seventh annual Graduate Fellowship Conference in Washington, DC, on Sept. 19-20, 2019, Vice Admiral Robert Murrett, Professor of Practice at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Deputy Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law, conducted an engaging interview with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Diplomat in Residence at Princeton University.

From his service as former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon, Amb. Crocker offered his advice for rising leaders from his wide-ranging experience, as well as remarked on broader diplomatic and security issues of the day.

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Newly Re-Named Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law Expands Mission Toward Emerging Technologies, Intelligence Community

Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL) is the new name for the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), a collaboration between the Syracuse University College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Security Policy and Law

Founded by Professor of Law Emeritus William C. Banks in 2003, the Institute has its roots in the global response to terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It has since expanded to work across the Syracuse University campus and beyond on a wide spectrum of national and international security topics, including homeland security, the law of armed conflict, violent extremism, postconflict reconstruction, disaster response, the rule of law, veterans’ affairs, critical infrastructure, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies.

The Institute’s new name and identity reflect this growth in topics and activities, and it acknowledges the Institute’s longstanding flexibility in addressing evolving security challenges—both within the United States and around the world—through interdisciplinary research, teaching, public service, and policy analysis.

The Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law is led by the Hon. James E. Baker, former Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and former Legal Adviser to the National Security Council. The Institute’s Deputy Director is Vice Admiral Robert B. Murrett (Ret.), former Director of the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and former Director of Naval Intelligence.

“Our new identity recognizes the essential interdisciplinary nature of contemporary security challenges.”

“Our new identity recognizes the essential interdisciplinary nature of contemporary security challenges,” says Judge Baker. “As the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law, we continue our mission to conduct leading-edge policy and law research and analysis across disciplines and to educate and inspire the next generation of security thought-leaders and practitioners.”

“A prime mover in national security policy and law for more than 16 years, the re-positioned Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law is poised for the future,” says Dean Craig M. Boise, College of Law. “I am particularly excited about the Institute’s expansion into emerging technologies, the private practice of security, and diversity in the intelligence community. These changes are transforming the workplaces our students are entering. By staying abreast of these trends, the Institute is and will remain a premier training ground for future practitioners across all security sectors.”

“This new identity change reflects the expansive ways in which policy, law, and governance intersect a broad array of issue areas that shape not just US national security but human security around the world,” says Dean David M. Van Slyke, Maxwell School. “As a top-ranked research institution, Syracuse University provides boundless opportunities for us to explore these intersections across campus.”

SPL’s growing subject-matter expertise and diversity is evident in the range of sectors that the Institute’s certificate program graduates work across, in the national and international security community, for US and foreign governments, international humanitarian organizations, the intelligence community, public health agencies, the private sector, think tanks, and NGOs. Alumni serve in all five branches of the US military.

SPL offers three interdisciplinary certificates of advanced study, in Security Studies, National Security and Counterterrorism Law, and Postconflict Reconstruction. It has graduated more than 700 students from its academic programs since 2003.

Adding to its emerging research and practice areas of expertise, the Institute recently played a key leadership role in generating external funding for two major collaborative research initiatives.

The first award is a research and production partnership with the Georgetown University-based Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). As part of the $500,000 agreement, SPL will assist CSET in investigating the legal, policy, and security impacts of emerging technology; supporting academic work in security and technology studies; and delivering nonpartisan analysis to the law and policy community. Judge Baker is the grant’s Primary Investigator.

In the second, federal award, Syracuse University was named as a US Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (ICCAE) with total support for the new program up to $1.5 million over five years. Known as the Partnership for Educational Results/Syracuse University Adaptive, Diverse, and Ethical Intelligence Community Professionals (PER/SUADE), Syracuse University is leading a consortium of universities and colleges to recruit and educate talented, diverse students interested in public service careers in the intelligence and national security fields.

The grant’s goal is to help diversify the US government’s intelligence and national security pipelines. The program is open to all Syracuse University students—graduate and undergraduate—from all schools and colleges, as well as partner schools (Wells College, the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Norfolk State University). PER/SUDAE’s Primary Investigator is Vice Admiral Murrett and Judge Baker is the Co-Primary Investigator. Multiple University faculty are helping to design the program as co-investigators, including the SPL Director of Research Corri Zoli and faculty from the College of Law, Maxwell School, College of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, College of Engineering and Computer Science, University College, and elsewhere.

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Impeachment & Public Opinion: William C. Banks Speaks to China Daily

Public opinion could be telling as impeachment proceedings unfold

(China Daily | Nov. 2, 2019) The impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump could shape and sway public opinion and impact the 2020 presidential campaign, analysts said.

The House of Representatives, in a 232-196, mostly party-line vote on Thursday, approved rules for the next, more public, stage in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into Trump’s attempt to have Ukraine investigate former vice-president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Over the past five weeks, the probe has primarily been shaped by closed-door testimony from several officials who have raised questions about whether Trump and his inner circle withheld nearly $400 million in security aid for Ukraine in order to pressure Kiev to investigate Trump’s political rivals, thehill.com reported.

The probe focuses on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymr Zelenskiy, to investigate Joe Biden, a 2020 candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings …

… William C. Banks, co-author of National Security Law and the Power of the Purse, a 1994 book about tensions between the executive and legislative branches over security and spending, said that to win a second term, Trump would need the impeachment effort to fail and backfire, showing the Democrats as interested only in partisan victory and not the rule of law.

“If the public impeachment process builds the Ukraine abuse of office case clearly, so that average Americans can see what the president did, it should lead to impeachment and a trial in the Senate,” said Banks, a Syracuse University College of Law professor.

“From there on, everything depends on events that have yet to occur,” he said …

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Professor William C. Banks Helps CNN Fact Check “Unconstitutional” Impeachment Claims

(CNN | Oct. 31, 2019) Moments after the House passed a resolution establishing procedures for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, the White House condemned the vote.

In a statement, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the resolution “fails to provide any due process whatsoever to the Administration,” calling it “unconstitutional.”

Trump echoed his administration’s complaints in an interview with British radio station LBC that aired soon after the vote. Referring to the resolution he said, “They gave us absolutely no rights” …

… William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University, told CNN that “some will see the new procedures as providing due process, and there is no harm in that view. As such ‘due process’ is a synonym for ‘fairness.'”

“There is nothing in the Constitution or any law, nor any rules of the House, that prescribes a particular procedure for impeachment proceedings,” Banks added.
The Constitution notes only the basis for impeachment and that the House “shall have the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate “shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.”

“The House resolution is not in any way ‘unconstitutional,'” Banks said. “The resolution provides more than is required.”

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William C. Banks Helps CNN Fact-Check Trump vs. Schiff

Fact-checking Trump’s shifting narrative on Adam Schiff

(CNN | Oct. 21, 2019) Over the last two years, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, has been a constant target of President Donald Trump’s ire.

Recently, Trump has focused almost entirely on a statement Schiff made to the committee last month in which he gave his own interpretation of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Schiff’s controversial statement included what he said was “the essence” of what the President communicated to Zelensky, rather than the “exact transcribed version of the call.”

Since then, the President’s characterization of Schiff — while always negative — has shifted dramatically, with Trump referring to Schiff’s comments as illegal, criminal or treasonous at least 8 times. He has even threatened to sue Schiff …

Schiff’s immunity

Recently, Trump has renewed his calls for Schiff to be punished, deploying a new tactic. The day of Schiff’s statement to Congress, he shared a clip of it on Twitter. Although the Constitution includes a specific provision that allows members of Congress to speak freely during official meetings, Trump claims Twitter is not protected under the clause and as such Schiff should be prosecuted for fraud.

On October 18, Trump said: “I understand he has immunity, but he doesn’t have immunity when he puts it on his Twitter, which he did.”

Facts First: The constitutional provision that gives Schiff immunity from prosecution over his comments in Congress also gives him immunity over his tweet of a video of those comments, experts say.

Per a Congressional Research Service report, the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause has also been interpreted “to include all ‘legislative acts’ undertaken by Members or their aides.”
Trump is partially right; Were Schiff to have tweeted his rendition of the call or other inaccurate characterizations of the President outside of the context of his congressional duties, it would not be considered a protected legislative act. However, because the tweet was of Schiff’s speech to Congress, Schiff remains immune from prosecution over it.

“Rep. Schiff is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution from being questioned ‘in any other place,'” said William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University. “The protection clearly extends to the offending Tweets.”

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James E. Baker Named a NAPA Fellow

Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism Director the Hon. James E. Baker is among four Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs faculty members selected to join the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) as 2019 Academy Fellows. 

Baker, who has a joint appointment as Professor of Law and Professor of Public Administration, is joined by Leonard Burman, Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics; Leonard Lopoo, Maxwell Advisory Board Professor of Public Policy; and Peter Wilcoxen, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Administration.

NAPA is a congressionally chartered, nonpartisan, and nonprofit academy providing expert advice to government leaders in building and managing more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. Fellows are selected based on their substantial scholarly contributions to the field of public administration, or significant and broadly applicable administrative experience.

Inducted fellows contribute to the field of public administration by serving on NAPA boards, panels, or committees; serving on specific project panels (which conduct studies under contract with government agencies or with the support of foundations, corporations, and associations); participating in symposia and seminars; and providing congressional testimony.

Induction into NAPA is considered one of the leading honors for scholars in the discipline. The new NAPA Fellows join former cabinet officers, members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators, prominent scholars, business executives, nonprofit leaders, and public administrators.

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William C. Banks Reflects on Trump Impeachment for China Daily

Democrats start Trump impeachment probe

(China Daily | Sept. 26, 2019) Republican president calls US House’s drive ‘positive’, yet tweets with fury.

“If the allegations are true, the abuse of power is significant.”

Democrats made their move against US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will open an impeachment inquiry over a phone call Trump had with Ukraine’s president in which former vice-president Joe Biden and his son were reportedly discussed.

“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” Pelosi said after meeting with House Democrats at the Capitol. “The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

The phone conversation was reported to be included in a whistleblower complaint that the Trump administration has not turned over to Congress, although a news report on Tuesday said the White House would release it.

The impeachment probe will center on whether Trump sought help from a foreign government in his bid for reelection next year. Biden is now a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination …

… William C. Banks, a law professor at New York’s Syracuse University, told China Daily: “If the allegations are true, the abuse of power is significant, and many members of Congress will be motivated to conduct impeachment proceedings.” He is the co-author of a 1994 book about tensions between the executive and legislative branches, National Security Law and the Power of the Purse.

As for the impact on the 2020 election, Banks said: “It’s too early to say. It could be the beginning of the end for President Trump, or the proceedings could backfire and propel Trump to reelection” …

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William C. Banks Publishes 2019-2020 Supplement to National Security Law & Counterterrorism Law

National Security Law Sixth Edition & Counterterrorism Law Third Edition, 2019 Supplement. Wolters Kluwer, 2019. (With S. Dycus, P. Raven-Hansen, & S.I. Vladeck)

Write authors William C. Banks, Stephen Dycus, Peter Raven-Hansen, and Stephen I. Vladeck, it is an increasingly Herculean task to stay abreast of developments in our field, given their dizzying pace and substantive breadth.

Even with new editions of National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law slated for publication in Spring 2020, the 2019–2020 Supplement will help students and teachers stay up to date during the coming academic year.

By including the most important recent cases, legislation, and executive branch actions, the new Supplement also underscores the critical work that lawyers do to keep this nation both safe and free.

Recent developments addressed in the 2019-2020 Supplement:

  • Fallout from the Mueller Report
  • U.S.-Mexico border wall, emergencies, and related issues
  • Russian interference in U.S. elections
  • Congressional access to Executive Branch information
  • The next generation of Guantánamo litigation

Visit the Wolters Kluwer webpage.

National Security

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William C. Banks Publishes on “Hybrid Threats, Terrorism, and Resilience Planning”

Hybrid Threats, Terrorism, and Resilience Planning. International Centre for Counter-Terrorism Perspective (2019). (With K. Samuel.)

We live in an inter-connected, inter-dependent world, not only in digital spaces, but increasingly between the physical and digital worlds. While our inter-connectedness and the accompanying rapid technological change bring with them widespread societal benefits, they can also deepen existing vulnerabilities and create new ones, such as in relation to critical infrastructure interdependencies. These technology-rich and highly dynamic circumstances can be exploited by those with criminal and malicious intent, including terrorists, with potentially extensive and catastrophic consequences, as the 2017 WannaCry cyber-attack with global reach, which nearly brought the United Kingdom’s National Health Service to its knees, illustrated.

We will illustrate this ironic confluence of good news/bad news by focusing on hybrid threats posed by cyber technology to critical national infrastructure. Our op-ed begins by briefly examining the concept of hybrid threats, before examining how they are materialising in the cyber world. The discussion then turns to examining how best to counter hybrid threats to our Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). We propose the development of more dynamic, integrated and innovative resilience planning solutions beyond those that currently exist.

The Concept of Hybrid Threats

Hybrid threats posed by state and non-state actors are expected by many to increasingly challenge countries and institutions globally. In 2016, this recognition led to the creation of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), which recognises diverse and wide-ranging forms of terrorism as a potential source of hybrid threats. The Hybrid CoE has defined a hybrid threat in the following terms:

  • Coordinated and synchronised action, that deliberately targets democratic states and institutions systemic vulnerabilities, through a wide range of means;
  • The activities exploit the thresholds of detection and attribution as well as the different interfaces (war-peace, internal-external, local-state, national-international, friend-enemy);
  • The aim of the activity is to influence different forms of decision making at the local (regional), state, or institutional level to favour and/or gain the agent’s strategic goals while undermining and/or hurting the target.

As the broad parameters of this definition reveal, hybrid threats can take a multitude of diverse forms. They can pose many practical and legal challenges too, such as how to detect, investigate, and attribute them in order to identify and bring to account their perpetrators, whether state or non-state actors … MORE

 

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