Talking Feds

Talking Feds

By Harry Litman | L.A. Times Studios

TALKING FEDS is a roundtable discussion that brings together prominent former government officials, journalists, and special guests for a dynamic and in-depth analysis of the most pressing questions in law and politics.


Supreme Court: Leaving Us No Choice

The Supreme Court argument in the Mississippi abortion case, already shaping up as the biggest of the Term, transformed during oral argument this week into the most important case of a generation, as it became clear that the new conservative majority was poised either to sharply restrict, or flatly overrule, the Court’s landmark abortion jurisprudence. Harry and a panel of top Supreme Court experts analyze the argument and gauge the immense impact on American women and the court’s own standing.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/12/21·48m 44s

Making Ends Meat: Farmers Get Raw Deal

In this special Thanksgiving episode, Harry is joined by a fantastic panel of experts – Senator Cory Booker, award-winning author Michael Pollan, and sustainable farming activist Leah Penniman – to discuss the country's deeply flawed farming and food production systems. The group breaks down the economic, health, and environmental harms of Big Agriculture; the legislative policies that have allowed them to persist; and the diverse movement working to improve the ways we produce and consume food.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
29/11/21·48m 31s

Pelosi Talks, Rittenhouse Walks, Meadows Balks

The week ended with a thunderous 1-2 stroke of the passage in the House of the Build Back Better Bill, arguably the most significant piece of legislation in a generation, followed by the announcement of the across-the-board acquittals in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. An all-star panel comprising CNN anchor Laura Jarrett and Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Jamie Raskin join Harry to break down both developments and place them in the broader context of the country’s continuing partisan divide.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
22/11/21·39m 6s

From the White House to the Big House to Rittenhouse

The Bannon indictment is the biggest game-changer in many months in the pursuit of the truth about various aspects of the Trump presidency. “From the White House to the Big House to Rittenhouse" features a stellar panel—Alisyn Camerota, Jen Rubin, & Rick Wilson-- to unpack the broader legal, cultural & political implications of the landmark indictment. We also cover the Rittenhouse trial, which is morphing into a litmus test of partisan divisions on issues of race, gun control, and vigilantism.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
15/11/21·53m 9s

DOJ: Turning Up the Heat

Our quarterly review of goings-on at the Department of Justice, with seasoned DOJ stalwarts Katie Benner, Matt Miller, and Andrew Weissmann. The group analyzes the progress of the Jan 6 investigation and assesses the criticism the Department is attracting from all corners, including the federal bench. They then canvass new DOJ policies on cybercrime and white collar crime and consider whether the changes are real or cosmetic. Finally, they take up the latest from special counsel John Durham.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
08/11/21·55m 22s

Listener Q&A with Harry Litman

Talking Feds brings you our first Q&A session with host Harry Litman. Listeners submitted questions, and Harry answered, covering the January 6 committee, Bannon’s subpoena avoidance, and questions regarding the legal proceedings of the insurrection’s trial.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
05/11/21·42m 34s

G20-20 Vision: Bringing the Good China to the Table

President Biden goes to Rome at a crucial juncture at home and a time of extraordinary challenge on the international front. He had hoped to carry with him the buoying victory of the passage of spending bills to bolster the country’s claim as the world’s leading democracy, but his efforts fell just short. A trio of national and international experts – Michael McFaul, Francis Fukuyama, and Juliette Kayyem – analyze Biden’s vexing agenda with respect to China, Russia, NATO, and climate change.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
01/11/21·54m 45s

Utter Contempt: Breaking Bannon

It was a week of push coming to shove, as a series of high-stakes disputes moved to an endgame with no clear picture of how they would come out. Talking Feds regulars Laura Coates, Matt Miller, and Senator Al Franken join Harry to work through what happens next in the referral of Steve Bannon to the DOJ on charges of criminal contempt. They then turn to the apparent endgame of filibuster reform and voting rights before assessing Merrick Garland’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
25/10/21·59m 9s

Clark, Bannon and Trump: Lawsuit or Jumpsuit?

After a roaring start to his presidency that evoked comparisons to the New Deal and Great Society, President Biden finds himself at 45% approval ratings and with his signature transformative legislation stalling. A great group of Talking Feds regulars—Laura Jarrett, Joe Lockhart, and Phil Rucker–join Harry to analyze the path ahead for Biden. They then take up the January 6 select committee subpoena showdowns, focusing on Steve Bannon and Jeffrey Clark,before turning to the vaccine mandate wars.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
18/10/21·54m 43s

National Security: Beyond the Fringe

A special episode focusing on the growing and acute threat of domestic terrorism.  After 20 years of reflexively looking at terrorism as a threat arising from faraway lands, the country is confronting a scourge of terrorists-predominantly far-right white supremacists — in the homeland. Three of the country’s most prominent experts — Sen Bob Kerrey, Julia Ioffe, and Davd Kris — discuss the magnitude of the threat, its connection to Trumpian politics, possible prescriptions for defeating it, and more.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
11/10/21·46m 53s

Courting Disaster

The Supreme Court starts its annual term this week at a hugely fraught moment for the court and the country, and with public confidence in the court’s integrity near a historic low. This is the term when the new majority must lay its cards down in a series of blockbuster cases and reveal where they are willing to take the country. Three great experts--Emily Bazelon, Jen Rubin, and Steve Vladeck-- join Harry to break down the law and politics of this extraordinary moment in the court’s history.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
04/10/21·49m 41s

Build Back Better Bill: Biden on the Brink

Peter Baker, Alexi McCammond, and Congressman Ted Lieu join Harry to analyze a contentious week in Washington: liberal and moderate Democrats were at loggerheads on the two big spending bills; Republicans and Democrats were at loggerheads over raising the debt ceiling; Congress and former Executive Branch officials were at loggerheads over demands to testify before the January 6 Select Committee; and all comers jumped on President Biden for the Haitian migrant crisis playing out in Texas.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
27/09/21·55m 57s

Totalled Recall: Masks, Mandates and Manchin

It was a week that put to the test the adage “As California Goes, So Goes the Nation,” but with unclear results. CA Gov Gavin Newsom handily turned back a recall effort, which Biden ascribed to Newsom’s COVID policies while others credited to the increasing unpopularity of Donald Trump. 3 of the country’s sharpest political minds – Jonah Goldberg, Norm Ornstein, & former Sen Barbara Boxer – take the recall as a prism for discussion of the national mood re Trump, COVID, voting rights and more.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
20/09/21·51m 57s

9/11, Texas, Covid… And how was your week?

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 finds the country down in the dumps about that milestone, with many highlighting lost opportunities to consolidate the U.S.’s position as the world’s moral leader and new daunting challenges in combatting international and domestic terror. The DOJ entered forcefully into the fray of the Texas abortion case, but harbingers of a future demolition of abortion rights remain. And COVID’s resurgence gives rise to anxiety about continuing dislocation of present-day life.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
13/09/21·52m 25s

Texas Two Step (Backwards)

At the end of a week of turmoil from Afghanistan to Austin, Jon Alter, Matt Miller, and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon join Harry to assess the damage and analyze the portents. The 4 begin with the Texas abortion statute that the Supreme Court refused to enjoin, and the possibility of effective pushback by Congress or the Executive Branch. They then assess the withdrawal in Afghanistan and the diplomatic path ahead before taking up the latest show of force by the Jan. 6 select committee.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/09/21·53m 18s

National Security Edition: “No Boots On the Ground to Booed On the Grounds”

An episode devoted to the savage terrorist attack at the Kabul airport and its national-security implications at home and abroad. Four leading national security experts—Frank Figiliuzzi, with Elizabeth Neumann, Ken Dilanian, and David Laufman—dig into the sharp difficulties for combating terror our withdrawal from Afghanistan presents. They then pivot to the ominous possibility of increased far-right terrorism in the US, as exemplified by the boos that greeted Trump for endorsing the vaccine.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
30/08/21·52m 48s

Voting Rights: You Beto Your Life

A special episode about the state of play for voting rights featuring Beto O’Rourke, Josh Marshall, and Laura Coates. We canvass the substantive and political landscape of federal legislation, including the For the People Act and the just-released John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would undo two Supreme Court cases that gutted enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. We also discuss the state of play on the state side, especially the wild and woolly goings-on in Texas.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
23/08/21·50m 56s

Closing the Barn Door on the Stable Genius

With Donald Trump’s successful efforts to keep his misdeeds from becoming public, it falls to authors of books to write the first drafts of history. There have been a spate of books of late, and the one that has garnered the most attention and accolades is “I Alone Can Fix It,” by Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker. Harry sits down with Leonning and Rucker for an in-depth exploration of some of the bigger, finer, and more surprising points of the book, and their take on where things now stand.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
16/08/21·49m 31s

Technical Difficulties

We apologize for the last episode. One of the guests was out of sync towards the end. If you already downloaded it to your device - please delete it and redownload the episode to solve the issue.

DOJ: Garland Here for the Right Reasons?

Talking Feds returns to its roots, with the latest look at the goings-on and inner workings of the Department of Justice by 4 of the professionals that know it best. After a few months in which he repeatedly disappointed progressives, who wanted him to attack the abuses of the Trump DOJ head-on, AG Merrick Garland of late has made several decisions that seem to tack in the other direction. Was it just a matter of timing, or is Garland adjusting his approach as he finds full footing in the job?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
09/08/21·41m 44s

I See Your Trillion and Raise You Climate Change

“As California Goes, So Goes the Country,” could be the capsule description for this episode, which brings together 3 of California’s most prominent public officials, Sen. Alex Padilla, Congresswoman Karen Bass, and director of the State Office of Business Development (and former White House Press Secretary) Dee Dee Meyers. The 3 join Harry—the 4th Californian-- to discuss the most pressing national topics–covid, infrastructure, voting rights, and more–through the prism of the Golden State.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
02/08/21·38m 22s

Bear Trap in the Bedroom: Select Committee, Infrastructure and Buried Tips

It was a week of frantic activity in Congress on several fronts but what if anything will come of it remained unclear. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Norm Ornstein, & Jane Mayer–-3 exceptionally sophisticated experts on the ways of Washington-–join Harry to break it all down. They explore the legislative gyrations over the January 6 Committee, infrastructure bills, and the allegation that the FBI’s 2018 investigation of Justice Kavanaugh was a sham. Adam Scott supplies a sidebar on the filibuster.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
26/07/21·53m 21s

Foreign Affairs: Putin on the Blitz

Six months into the Biden Administration, the feds take a deep dive into the state of play in foreign affairs and international relations. A fantastic set of guests – Dr. Richard Haass (the long-time President of the Council of Foreign Relations), Fiona Hill, and Laura King join Harry to focus first on Putin’s dangerous strategies for staying relevant. We then move to the new crises in Cuba and Haiti before discussing the risks and benefits of the Administration’s world Covid vaccine initiative.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
19/07/21·53m 20s

S/Elect: Rights and Riots

Natasha Bertrand, Bill Kristol, and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren join Harry to analyze a series of topics that expose, and are driven by, the country’s deep partisan divide. The Feds discuss the substantive and political goals of both parties for the investigation of January 6 by a select House committee, on which Congresswoman Lofgren will serve; the state of play in the battle over the wave of new laws to sharply restrict voting rights; and the prospects for a serious reining in of big tech.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
12/07/21·49m 44s

The Supreme Court: Baby, Baby, Where Did Our Left Go?

It’s our annual Supreme Court review and retrospective, in the wake of a very significant Supreme Court Term, the first with the conservative super-majority including the three Trump appointees. Amy Howe, Melissa Murray, and Steve Vladeck join Harry to wrestle with the main cases on their own terms but also for what they portend about where the new Court is now and where it’s going. Is a more moderate 9 in the process of formation, or is this an unapologetic hard-charging hard-right Court? See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
05/07/21·50m 39s

Deal or No Deal

In a week providing living proof of the adage that politics is the art of the possible, President Biden maneuvered his way to partial progress in several key areas, including Infrastructure, Gun Violence, and Voting Rights, where the DOJ sued Georgia to enjoin that state’s new voting law. Talking Feds stalwarts Matt Miller and Juliette Kayyem, and first-time Fed Betsy Woodruff Swan, join Harry to analyze these issues and also explore the uncertain state of play going forward with Covid.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/06/21·45m 51s

We Wish to Welcome You to Manchinland

In a week with heavy action at every branch of government and on the international stage, Congressman Ted Lieu, David Frum, & Jen Rodgers join Harry to break it all down. At the G7, Biden reassured allies by not being Donald Trump, but his longer-range prospects for foreign policy success were less clear. The country learned of a brazen campaign by the Trump WH to get DOJ to run to court to support the big lie. And prospects for voting rights legislation went from null to at least faint.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
21/06/21·49m 31s

Leak House

In a week ending with a classic DC scandal embroiling the press, Congress, the DOJ, and the WH, three old DC hands — George Conway, Joe Lockhart, and Asha Rangappa — join Harry to take apart the roles of all the players. The group considers how we can still unearth the facts of this and other Trump scandals. It considers whether Merrick Garland can stick to his neutral institutional approach. Finally, it analyzes the prospects for any voting rights reform following Joe Manchin’s abandoning ship.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
14/06/21·52m 46s

Oh, DeJoy! Gaetz of Hell!

Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, Jon Alter, and Matt Miller join Harry in a week when the continuing influence of former President Trump was on regular display. Trump’s former Counsel, Don McGahn, finally testified before Congress; but he was limited to facts already in the public record. Core Trumpians Matt Gaetz and Louis DeJoy were looking down the barrel at serious criminal charges. And state actors in Texas and elsewhere looked to implement Trump’s cynical strategy of voter suppression. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
07/06/21·49m 41s

White House Counsel: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

This week we take an in-depth look at the position of the White House Counsel, one of the most important players in government, yet one that remains obscure to many people. The Counsel is integrally involved in most aspects of the Presidency and takes a center-stage role at times of great crisis. In this episode, previously only available to subscribers, Harry speaks with Bob Bauer, President Obama's counsel and Beth Nolan, President Clinton’s counsel. Then, in a new bonus section, he speaks with Kate Shaw about her work in the Counsel’s office as a young lawyer.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
31/05/21·48m 28s

Commission Impossible?

Rick Wilson, Erin Burnett, and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon join Harry to talk through the political and legal landscape, starting with the Republican Party’s gyrations to avoid the establishment of a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6. They then analyze the New York AG’s new criminal investigation of Allen Weisselberg, ending with the Supreme Court commission and the likelihood (remote) that it will lead to any changes in Court composition or selection processSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
24/05/21·44m 44s

Cheney of Command Disrupted

Feds Emily Bazelon, Juliette Kayyem, and Max Boot dig into a week of big stories across a range of areas and the changes they portend for coming months. With its ouster of Liz Cheney, the Republican party split along the seam of the Big Lie, making it the party’s defining covenant into 2022. It now appears that COVID won’t taper to zero but to an extended period of risk minimization. And the Colonial Pipeline attack presented a dystopian vision of national vulnerability to cyberattack.  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
17/05/21·43m 12s

Talking Counter-Terrorism: Knock and Talk

This week we listen in on the most knowledgeable counterterrorism and national security professionals — Frank Figuliuzzi, Katherine Schweit, Malcolm Nance, and Philip Mudd — as they discuss the state of threats to the Homeland and the measures the government is taking to address them, including Biden's anticipated domestic violence and extremism package, the issue of the social media as a breeding ground for extremism, and the spike in mass shootings. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
10/05/21·46m 11s

Talking DOJ: 100 Days of Solid’Tude

100 days into the Biden Administration, 3 friends of the podcast with special insight into the DOJ – Katie Benner, Matt Miller, & Andrew Weissmann -- join Harry to focus on the state of the Department under new AG Merrick Garland. The 4 discuss the Giuliani search warrant and its broader implications. They then take up the restoration of pattern and practice authority and its deploy in 2 cities. They end with an assessment of morale among career employees after the serious hits of the Trump years.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
03/05/21·51m 22s

Chauvin Verdict: You Do the (After) Math

In the wake of the guilty verdicts in the Chauvin case, Jamie Raskin, Phil Rucker, and Bianca Vivion Brooks join Harry to break down the reasons for the outcome and, more importantly, what it augurs—or doesn’t-- for broader reform of police practices in this country. The group then turns its attention to climate change and President Biden’s commitment to cut emissions in half by the end of the decade. What does that mean for Americans and what impact will it have on the rest of the world? See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
26/04/21·39m 16s

Foreign Policy: "This Year We No %$&* Suck"

After a week of seismic developments in foreign affairs, a banner trio of expert commentators -- David Frum, Evan McMullin, and Fiona Hill -- join Harry for a breakdown of the events and their portents. The group analyzes the announcement of the end of the Afghanistan war and whether it was the best of the bad options for the US. We turn to an in-depth discussion of Russia sanctions and the situation in the Ukraine. Finally, we consider whether there is yet such a thing as a “Biden foreign policy.”See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
19/04/21·46m 46s

Gun Safety: Giving it a Real Shot

We tackle this week perhaps the most entrenched stalemate in American political life: the regulation of gun ownership and gun violence. The US has rates of gun deaths 5 to 25 times that of other developed countries, and large majorities support at least certain reforms; and yet we repeatedly play out the same cycle of outrage followed by inaction. Congress members Conor Lamb and Eric Swalwell, and Brady President Kris Brown, join Harry to try to shed new light on this perennial issue.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
12/04/21·47m 39s

Chauvin-ism and the National Schism

In this episode of Talking Feds, the roundtable delves into three different aspects of our polarized national life. Yamiche Alcindor, David Jolly, and Norm Ornstein join Harry to analyze the trial week in Chauvin and the broader stakes the case presents. They then take up the culture clash over the idea of vaccine passports. Finally, the four try to make sense of the quicksand Matt Gaetz is in, tying it to the broader crazy political culture of Florida.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
05/04/21·50m 35s

The New New Deal?

In the immediate aftermath of the $1.9 trillion recovery package, the Biden administration is readying the most ambitious and progressive set of economic reforms in the country in at least the last 50 years, with a total price tag of $3-4 trillion. Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, former Council of Economic Advisers member Betsey Stevenson, and former senator Al Franken join Harry to break down Biden’s transformative proposals through the lenses of economics and politics.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
29/03/21·41m 9s

Filibuster or Bust

This week we turn our sights to the United States Senate, as a phenomenal group of experts–Bill Kristol, Jen Rubin, & Senator Whitehouse–join Harry to break down the most important & challenging topics on the Senate’s plate. We first consider the prospects for passage of landmark voting rights legislation, including the possible elimination of the filibuster. We then turn to oversight of unsolved problems from the Trump years before considering the confirmation prospects of senior DOJ officials.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
22/03/21·52m 45s

Life begins at 50 (Days)

It was a historic week for the country and the presidency, with passage of a 1.9 trillion stimulus that represented the most fundamental alteration in the role of government in at least 50 years. Congressman Joaquin Castro, Joe Lockhart, Laura Jarrett, & Matt Miller join Harry to analyze the landmark provision. They then turn to immigration, where Biden's ambitious plans face less certain prospects. Finally, they reflect on the terrible horrible no-good week of New York governor Andrew CuomoSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
15/03/21·54m 20s

Anatomy of a Prosecution

The Feds go back to basics and back to our roots with a nuts-and-bolts prosecutors’ dissection of the three potential criminal cases against Donald Trump—in Fulton County, Manhattan, and the DOJ--from the vantage point of the concrete specifics that experienced prosecutors focus on in determining whether to bring a case. Cynthia Alksne, Judge John Gleeson, Jen Rodgers & Andrew Weissmann join Harry to talk through the three cases’ strengths and weaknesses as prosecutors must before deciding to proceed. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
08/03/21·51m 3s

The FBI: The Weather(ed) Bureau

No government agency bore the impact of Trump’s wrath more than the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Trump singled out the Bureau, the traditional crown jewel of U.S. law enforcement agencies, for outrageous and vicious slander. Three of the country’s most prominent and thoughtful experts on the FB–Frank Figliuzzi, Andy McCabe, and Asha Rangappa– discuss the damage the last four years inflicted and what the Bureau now needs to do, including to respond to the grave threat of domestic terrorism.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
01/03/21·48m 35s

Republicans On The Fence

It was a week of intense storms, natural and political. Record-setting frigid weather spread across the country from Washington to Texas, and a cold war took effect between Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. A stellar set of guests—Lawrence O’Donnell, Ashley Parker, and Norm Eisen—join Harry for a bottom-line assessment of the impeachment, an analysis of the GOP sturm und drang, a look at the first lawsuit against the former president, and a preview of Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
22/02/21·47m 1s

Base Instincts

As the evidence in the second impeachment trial draws to a close, an expert panel of legal and congressional experts – Matt Miller, Norm Ornstein, and Hakeem Jeffries, who served as a House Manager in the previous impeachment trial – join Harry to analyze the trial and what an acquittal portends for the future of Trump, Trumpism, and the GOP. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
13/02/21·51m 43s

Allies Allies All Come Free

This week Talking Feds turns its view outward, to the challenges in foreign policy the new Administration inherits. After 4 years of aberrant foreign policy that saw the US bully our allies and coddle our enemies, the Biden Administration faces a different herculean task trying to right the ship of state, with the complication of China’s arrival as an economic superpower. Anne Appelbaum, Garry Kasparov, and Uriel Epshtein join Harry to analyze the challenges and prescribe the best path ahead.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
08/02/21·44m 16s

Won’t Get Fooled Again

The debris from the Trump years litters the political landscape, and it’s a herculean task to try to clean up the mess and repair our constitutional foundations. Where to begin and who has the political will and interest to pursue it? And is it even possible, with some 70 million citizens, and much of the Republican Congress, still in thrall to Trump? Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith, whose book “After Trump” is the best primer on the topic, and former Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick join Harry to discuss.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
01/02/21·42m 26s

Transition, Transition!

Three veterans of the heady first few days of a new Administration – Dee Dee Myers (Clinton), David Frum (George W. Bush), and Valerie Jarrett (Obama) – join Harry to analyze and critique the Biden Administration’s first few days and the challenges it faces for the first 100. Should the new government go big early? How will the impeachment trial affect it? Can Biden hold the Ds together while reaching out to pick off a few Rs? Invaluable commentary and counsel from people who have been there.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
25/01/21·53m 29s

Impeaches and Crime

In another barnburner week, in which the first-ever second impeachment of a President was only one of several huge stories, Natasha Bertrand, Norm Ornstein, and former Senator Al Franken join Harry to break down the fallout from the storming of the Capitol. They then turn to Trump’s impeachment and coming trial, assessing the dynamic for Biden, Senate Republicans, and Trump himself, before taking up the political and legal status of the Members of Congress who may have facilitated the attacks.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
19/01/21·55m 36s

News Edition; New Sedition

On the most tumultuous week of the Trump presidency, and one of the most in US history, Congressmen Eric Swalwell, George Conway, & Laura Jarrett join Harry to discuss whether the President can hang on for 12 days to finish his term. The Feds discuss the triple challenge to Trump of the 25th Amend, impeachment, and prosecution, all based on inciting an insurrectionary mob of supporters to storm the Capitol to try to terrorize Congress into changing the election results. Sidebar by Robert De Niro.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
11/01/21·47m 13s

Burning Down the House

In this special Talking Feds Now, Harry convenes with Andrew Weissmann, Sam Vinograd, Jennifer Rodgers, and Steve Vladeck to discuss one of the most harrowing and memorable days of our lifetime, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. They discuss the dozens of questions this raises, including sedition, possibilities of impeachment, the 25th Amendment, and national security risks.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
07/01/21·30m 1s

The Very Model of a Modern Solicitor General

This week we expect Biden will announce his selections for DOJ brass, including solicitor general, the executive branch's lawyer in the Supreme Court. In this special episode recorded last year at George Washington University, we go beyond the basics to discuss the role which has a huge importance in the development of constitutional law with Seth Waxman, the forty-first solicitor general serving under President Clinton from 1997 to 2001, Paul Clement, the forty third solicitor general who served under President George W. Bush from June 2005 until June 2008, and Don Verrilli, the forty-sixth solicitor general under President Obama, serving from June 2011 to June 2016See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/01/21·58m 37s

Georgia on my Mind

All eyes turn to Georgia for the all-important Senate runoffs on January 5, with control of the Senate at stake. A fantastic panel combining local and national knowledge, experience, and political savvy – former Columbus, GA mayor Teresa Tomlinson, new Congresswoman Elect Nikema Williams, DNC Chair Tom Perez, and Democratic strategist extraordinaire Bob Shrum – join Harry to describe the scene on the ground and break down the critical points on which success or failure will turn.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/12/20·45m 13s

T-30... and Counting

In a week when the virus hit ravaging new levels and we learned of a huge new hack; but also in which people first began to get the vaccine and key leaders in Congress recognized Biden’s election, Congressman Ted Lieu, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times journalist Michael Schmidt join Harry to discuss the political road ahead, the resignation of Bill Barr, the repercussions of the hack, and of course, the Cleveland Indians’ name change.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
21/12/20·45m 56s

I Never Promised you a Rose Garden Pardon

A back-to-basics Talking Feds with three highly experienced prosecutors and DOJ veterans: Jen Rodgers, Mimi Rocah (now the DA for Westchester County), and Andrew Weissmann. The group joins Harry in discussing the potential charges against Hunter Biden and then conjectures whether President Trump’s lobbying campaign to state officials might have broken any laws. They close with an extended discussion of the stakes for Biden of the AG selection, comparing the 4 candidates’ upsides and downsides.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
14/12/20·43m 40s

Purple Reign

With the virus spiking ever upwards and a winter that promises to be the most challenging time in US public health history, a phenomenal set of guests —Senator Michael Bennett, Natasha Bertrand, and Fareed Zakaria—join Harry to look ahead at the measures the country needs to take on the health and economic fronts. They then assess the ongoing damage to the country of President Trump’s narcissistic fantasies of having won the election. Sidebar by chess great and democracy advocate Garry Kasparov.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
07/12/20·51m 6s

National Security: 50 Days of Gray

With national security issues rife, it’s time for a return trip to the Double Agent Bar & Grill to eavesdrop on the candid conversations of top national security experts. Frank Figliuzzi, Sam Vinograd, Josh Campbell, & Kate Brannen trade notes on what Biden’s new team projects about his national security operation; how to repair the damage that 4 years of Trump rule has inflicted on our national security institutions; Trump’s attempt to install his operatives at DoD and NSA; and more.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
30/11/20·39m 46s

Goodbye Rudy Tuesday

On a week in which new daily virus cases approached 200,000 with 250,000 Americans dead, President Trump focused on his preposterous claims to have won the election, in the process continuing to block President-Elect Biden from formally beginning the transition. Charter feds Frank Figliuzzi, Paul Fishman, and Amy Jeffress discuss the costs to national security and the country of Trump’s hopeless campaign and then analyze what Biden’s initial decisions indicate about his coming Administration.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
23/11/20·48m 53s

Biden Our Time

Peter Baker, Laura Jarrett and Robert Raben join Harry to discuss a strange and troubling week when President Trump, abetted by cabinet members and Senate Republicans, hunkered down and refused to allow President-Elect Joe Biden to begin a transition. The group analyzes the harm that the Trump charade is causing before turning to what Biden’s first moves and appointments suggest about his upcoming tenure. They end with some supplementary lessons for our political life from the election results.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
16/11/20·43m 2s

Welcome Back, America

In the wake of the call of the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Feds Natasha Bertrand, Joe Lockhart, and Mike Murphy review Biden’s winning strategy. They then analyze the relative underperformance of down-ticket Democratic candidates and what it says about the state of US political culture. Finally, they turn to the challenges the new Administration inherits, offering some surprising conclusions about how Biden can make important headway even if McConnell remains Majority Leader.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
09/11/20·48m 34s


The day after the contested Presidential election, Feds Matt Miller, Melissa Murray, and Norm Ornstein convene to explain just where the country is and where we’re headed. They canvass some improbable scenarios before zeroing in on the pivotal states (PA, AZ, NEV, and GA and a sophisticated analysis of each one. They then analyze why Trump out-performed the polls, what it says about the country, and what it augurs for the next two years, with a President Biden and a Majority Leader McConnell.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
05/11/20·53m 36s

And Yet they Persisted

A powerhouse crew of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congress Member Adam Schiff and Kristen Clarke, President of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, join Harry to take final stock of the political landscape just before the election. They assess the closing statements of Trump and Biden and then move to the rushed and completely partisan confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. Finally, they consider the prospects for a Bush v Gore style intervention in the election by the Supreme Court.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
02/11/20·48m 30s

Rounding the Corner... to what?

In the wake of the final presidential debate, Vanita Gupta, Matt Miller, and Congressman Jamie Raskin join Harry to analyze the candidates’ final messages and anticipate what possible bumps may lie on the short ride to the finish line. Trump turned in a more disciplined performance but lied promiscuously; Biden scored strong hits on the virus and immigration and directly connected with voters on kitchen table issues. The feds then canvassed the likely paths of both campaigns in the last week.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
26/10/20·47m 57s

Confirming Amy... Recuse, Refuse...We Lose

With two weeks to go until the election, Al Franken, Dahlia Lithwick and Bill Kristol join Harry and take up first the confirmation hearings for soon-to-be Justice Barrett. Did the Republicans make a mistake going all in and did the Dems play their losing hand right? The Feds then move to the campaign trail, and the bizarre simultaneous town halls by Trump and Biden. Finally, they take stock of the Senate races and the very real prospect that the Dems will sweep the board in November.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
19/10/20·49m 20s

Talking Zeds: Social Media is Our Country

About 24 million Americans born after 1996—our so-called Generation Z-- will have their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election in November. Who are they and what motivates them? In this special bonus episode, Harry sits down with four young voters and leaders -- Xiye Bastida, Victor Shi, Bianca Vivion Brooks, and Ziad Ahmed -- to discuss climate change, the Supreme Court, intersectional politics, the electoral college, and why social media is their love language.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
15/10/20·50m 32s

Treasonable Doubt

Michael Steele, Laura Jarrett, & Steve Vladeck join Harry on a week when President Trump returned to the White House from Walter Reed hospital and proceeded to act even more erratically than usual. They then take up the DOJ’s change to its hands-off election year policies, and its announcement, to Trump's chagrin, that there will be no Durham report pre-election. Finally, the Feds analyze the attempting kidnapping of Michigan Governor Whitmer, and tie it to Trump’s incendiary rhetoric in office.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
12/10/20·49m 0s

Talking Feds Now: Positive Uncertainty

Recorded on Friday night, in the wake of the mind-blowing revelation that both the President and the First Lady have tested positive for COVID 19, Laura Coates, Norm Orenstein, and Michael Schmidt join Harry to analyze the dizzying questions of law, medicine, national security, and politics that Trump’s sickness put into play. The Feds discuss the Administration’s stunning irresponsibility and the prospect that more VIPs fall ill. Then they analyze the political implications for Trump, the election, Barrett, and moreSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
04/10/20·57m 23s

Judging Amy

Convening in the wake of President Trump’s selection of Judge Amy Comey Barrett for the Sup Ct vacancy caused by Justice Ginsburg’s death, Feds Dahlia Lithwick, Joe Lockhart, and Bret Stephens analyze Barrett’s qualifications and the politics surrounding her confirmation. What are the long-term consequences of the 5-member majority of far-right Justices that Barrett cements? And what is the Ds’ best short-term political strategy given that the Rs have the raw numbers to assure Barrett’s ascent?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/09/20·51m 43s

Honoring RBG: May her Memory be a Revolution

Initially taped just before the announcement of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this episode features Feds Natasha Bertrand, former Senator Al Franken, and Matt Miller delving into the stark, Orwellian divide between the true facts about the virus, the DOJ, and misinformation on the one hand, and the wholly fictional account propounded by the President and his Administration on the other. The Feds reconvene after the taping to add a discussion about RBG’s death and its implications. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
21/09/20·1h 7m

Before She was Notorious: Clerking for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In this special bonus Talking Feds: Women at the Table, three #Sistersinlaw, all clerks to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, come together to describe what Justice Ginsburg really was like as a mentor, judge, spouse, and improbable pop culture hero. Amanda Tyler, Gillian Metzger, and Ginger Anders talk about their lives during their clerkships and paint a multi-dimensional portrait of the woman they knew and revered. They discuss everything from her approach to writing to her love of opera and of course her judicial work.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
20/09/20·41m 36s

Homeland Insecurity: Flying Blind

Convening on the 19th anniversary of 9/11, fed regulars Frank Figliuzzi, David Frum, and Juliette Kayyem take stock of the most pressing threats to the homeland; the largely fictitious threats that the President continues to proffer; and the consequences for the country of the divide between the two. The feds consider the DHS whistleblower complaint and what it suggests about homeland security in 2020.They then zero in on the provocative charges in the new books by Bob Woodward and Pete Strzok.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
14/09/20·48m 25s

The Vote is in the Mail: Election Protection (from the ground up)

A dream team of Democratic Party leaders -- Marc Elias, the leading lawyer in the country for election protection, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Congresswoman Katie Porter -- join Talking Feds host Harry Litman to discuss the gargantuan efforts afoot to protect the right to vote in the November election. You’ve heard about the manifold problems; now hear about the concrete strategic battles the Democrats are waging in litigation, legislation, and public opinion.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
08/09/20·52m 2s

Sisters in Law Special Voters Rights Edition: Use it or Lose it

In Part 2 of a special bonus edition of Talking Feds commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, Jill Wine-Banks, Joyce Vance, and Barbara McQuade speak with Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) about voter suppression, the unravelling of our democracy that has been going on for years, and the role the legal community has played in these failures.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
03/09/20·41m 5s

Married to the Don

In the wake of the Republican convention and the renomination of President Trump, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and author Jeff Toobin join Harry for a 360° review of the Convention and what it portends about the Republicans’ election strategy going forward. The group then moves to the Kenosha unrest, and the stark red-blue divide in reaction to the events. The Kenosha bedlam sets up a sidebar from NBA Coach Steve Kerr on the federal role in firearms regulation.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
31/08/20·49m 31s

Conventional Wisdom: It Is What It Is

It was the week when the Democrats formally selected their standard bearers in the 1st-ever virtual convention, and feds Laura Jarrett, Frank Figliuzzi, & Matt Miller assess the Convention and the Dems’ message. They next take up the Intel Committee’s devastating Report detailing repeated connections between the Trump Campaign and the Russian Government. And they examine the indictment of Kevin Clinesmith and what if anything it portends and do the same for the SDNY indictment of Steve Bannon. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
24/08/20·48m 14s

The Sisters in Law Special Edition: Nasty Women Vote

In part one of this special Sisters-in-Law edition of Talking Feds commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote, Jill Wine-Banks, Joyce Vance, and Barbara McQuade speak with civil rights attorney Vanita Gupta and lawyer and Stanford Law School professor Pam Karlan about protecting voters rights.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
19/08/20·48m 33s

Kamala: Game On!

In a week dominated by Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s selection of California Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate, Jonathan Alter, Joe Lockhart, Asha Rangappa, and Harry discuss the behind-the-scenes selection of Harris and then proceed to evaluate the choice. Turning to the Republican response, the Feds discuss the loathsome charge, countenanced by Trump, that Harris is ineligible to serve. Finally, the four explain why the attack on the USPS is so grave and what can be done about it.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
17/08/20·50m 15s

A Tale of Two Cities: Paris, Texas and Paris, France

Charter Feds and DOJ alumni Amy Jeffress, Ron Klain, and Matt Miller join Harry to analyze the US’s abysmal record controlling the virus. They then discuss the bad news the President got from both the Vance and McGahn cases, and move to the testimony of Sally Yates in the Senate, where she got a full dose of Republican fantasies about Michael Flynn. Finally, all 4 Feds contemplate what a prospective Biden Administration can do to restore the institutional stature and stability of the DOJ. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
10/08/20·48m 23s

Person Woman Man Economy Virus

Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson, journalist EJ Dionne, and Congressman Jamie Raskin join Harry to assess and analyze a week of wretched news. Continuing high numbers on the virus combined with the worst quarterly economic report on record for a deadly 1-2 punch, and the Administration seemed to have no plan for either. Trump floated the prospect of postponing the election, but was roundly rebuffed by his own party. And Bill Barr’s House testimony showed that he is all-in for Trump.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
03/08/20·57m 51s

A Man a Van No Plan: Portland

In a week in which President Trump effectively declared war on designated American cities, a classic group of charter Feds -- Frank Figliuzzi, Paul Fishman, and Joyce Vance -- join Harry to break it all down. They explain the deploy of federal agents in American cities was stunning and dangerous, even if a core power is in play. They then turn to Trump’s China-baiting and then his immigration memorandum. An overall theme: Trump’s efforts to elude the force of law and political accountability.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
27/07/20·44m 30s

Toxic Mask-ulinity

Congressman Joaquin Castro, Zerlina Maxwell, and Max Boot join Harry to break down a week in which the virus roared back to all-time highs in many states. Red-blue politics, and the suppression of science, continued to complicate efforts to get on top of the virus. School reopenings in particular, which the CDC says are the biggest risk for the virus’s strong return, were completely uncertain. Meanwhile, prospects for comprehensive police reform have waned in the wake of Republican opposition.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
20/07/20·43m 48s

Pardon Our Obstruction!

It was already a big week with the Supreme Court’s final decisions and the House hearing with ousted SDNY US Attorney Geoffrey Berman; but Trump’s Friday-night commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence made it enormous. This episode begins with a 1-on-1 with Harry and Congressman Adam Schiff about the Stone scandal, then moves into a larger discussion with the Congressman, Jen Rubin, and Barb McQuade about the Trump cases – were they great or a mixed bag? –the politics of a Stone commutation, and Berman.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
13/07/20·53m 59s

5-4 Roberts Plays the Long Game

The Supreme Court issued two momentous opinions last week – but the press coverage only appreciated one of them. A phenomenal panel – Dahlia Lithwick, Ron Klain, and Larry Tribe – joins Harry to break down the Court’s abortion decision in June Medical and its executive power decision in Seila Law. They end with practical reflections on Chief Justice Roberts’s position as the most powerful Justice in a century. And a sidebar of 10 of Tribe’s most famous students toast the master’s retirement.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/07/20·56m 59s

Talking Feds 1-on-1: A Conversation with Stacey Abrams

In our continuing series of 1-on-1 interviews with political leaders who are mentioned as possible running mates for Joe Biden, Harry spoke with Stacey Abrams, who as Democratic candidate for Georgia governor in 2018 garnered the highest number of Democratic votes in Georgia history. The discussion focuses on Abrams’s new book, Our Time is Now, which is part personal memoir, part historical survey of impediments to voting to the present day, and part manifesto for growing the franchise in 2020 and beyond. Abrams also responds to the criticism that she doesn’t have sufficient experience to permit her to step into the presidency if the need arose.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
03/07/20·27m 55s

The Sisters in Law Special Edition: Lowering the Barr

In this special edition of Talking Feds, Joyce Vance hosts a conversation with Maya Wiley, Barbara McQuade, and Jill Wine-Banks. The four discuss police reform, the Barr-Berman debacle and the testimonies of Aaron Zelinsky and John Elias, two current assistant United States attorneys, who talked about politically motivated prosecutions. They close with the impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on voting in November. New Westchester DA Mimi Rocah joins for the sidebar.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
29/06/20·56m 55s

Pride and Prejudice and the Room Where It Happened

Peter Baker, Laura Jarrett, and Juliette Kayyem (with a sidebar from Frances McDormand) join Harry on a banner week in which the Supreme Court issued two decisions bringing joy to the DACA dreamers and LGBTQ citizens; former national security adviser John Bolton’s long-awaited book trashed the President as dedicated to obstruction as way of life; Trump took it on the chin from other quarters; and the virus continued its chokehold even as more citizens seemed to think the danger had passed.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
22/06/20·50m 44s

Talking Feds Now: The Barr-Berman Standoff

It was an extraordinary 24 hours, even by the measure of this DOJ. AG Barr announced Friday evening that SDNY US Attorney Geoffrey Berman was resigning; but Berman responded saying he was doing nothing of the kind. That led to a feverish series of moves that ended with Berman’s agreeing to leave but his Deputy, a career prosecutor likely to protect ongoing investigations, in place—for now. Feds Barb McQuade, Matt Miller, and Andy Weissman join Harry for a rapid reaction to the crazy events.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
21/06/20·41m 11s

Trumpocalypse Nu?

Minnesota native sons Al Franken and Norm Ornstein join David Frum and Harry on a week that saw the protests from Minneapolis consolidate into an international movement. The Feds discuss the broader circumstances that gave rise to the George Floyd killing, and turn to the national political landscape and the President’s out-of-step chest-thumping response. They analyze the systemic reasons for the election day chaos in Georgia and close with some observations about AG Barr’s bad week.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
15/06/20·48m 10s

Pouring Tear Gas on the Fire

As worldwide demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd stretched into their tenth day, Feds Roy Austin, Barb McQuade, and Jen Rubin join Harry to discuss the state of play in the case against the 4 officers charged in the death and then take up the possibility that the stars are aligned for comprehensive national legislation to reform police practices. The Feds then turn to Trump’s disastrous photo-op and the fallout it generated before speculating about whether real change is in the air.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
08/06/20·52m 52s

Minnesota Burning

In a week that began with turbulence and ended on the edge of anarchy, Natasha Bertrand, Matt Miller, and Senator Barbara Boxer join Harry to make sense of the unfolding dramas in Minnesota, DC, and around the country. The Feds analyze the impact of the killing of George Floyd and its interaction with the continuing ravages of COVID-19. They then turn to current events in DC, including McConnell’s insistence on immunity for companies for transmission of the virus and Pompeo’s deepening troubles.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
01/06/20·45m 15s

Memorial Day or Groundhog Day?

Four charter feds, ex-prosecutors and government officials all -- Paul Fishman, Maya Wiley, Barbara McQuade, and Harry – convene in a classic home-for-Memorial-Day Talking Feds. The 4 explore why the virus disproportionately victimizes people of color, and turn to the new wave of lawsuits challenging state authority. They then take up the DC Circuit’s aggressive move to possibly disable Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case, and end with Trump’s aggressive resumption of bogus claims of voter fraud.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
25/05/20·52m 8s

(Whistle) Blowin' in the Wind

After a week with dramatic action on multiple fronts – testimony by Fauci and Bright; Trump’s “unmasking” charge and Obamagate trope; abysmal economic news; and the specter of criminal charges against Senator Richard Burr—feds Aaron Blake, David Gura, and Asha Ragganpa join Harry to talk through the political and legal landscape but also the real-world impact, especially on more vulnerable populations, of the virus and of the Administration’s bumbling and politicized oversight efforts.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
18/05/20·51m 9s

Talking Feds 1-on-1: A Conversation with Governor Gretchen Whitmer

In our continuing series of 1-on-1 interviews with political leaders who are prominently mentioned as possible running mates for Joe Biden, Harry spoke with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer has drawn fire from Trump and extremist protesters for her relatively strict shelter-in-place order; but she continues to have strong approval ratings among Michiganders generally. We focused on virus issues but also touched on her background, other goals for Michigan, and the Biden VP possibility. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
13/05/20·23m 15s

In Like Flynn

Journalistic legend Andrea Mitchell joins Ron Klain, Anne Milgram, and Harry to discuss the jaw-dropping news of the Flynn dismissal, which the Feds unanimously agree can only be explained by corruption at DOJ. The group then takes on the uneven and dangerous pattern of easing of shelter-in-place orders in various states, and then discusses the whistleblower complaints, particularly the one by Dr. Rick Bright, that portray a White House making life-and-death decisions on the basis of cronyism. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
11/05/20·44m 59s

Return to the Double Agent Bar and Grill: Intelligence, National Security, and the Coronavirus

Four of the nation’s premier experts in counter-intelligence and national security—Kate Brannen, Frank Figliuzzi, Juliette Kayyem, and Sam Vinograd—reconvene without Harry at the virtual Double Agent Bar & Grill, for a no-holds-barred discussion of the most troubling and important aspects of the virus. The 4 cut to the core in a rich and freewheeling conversation about the grave dangers that the virus, and Trump’s inept handling of it, pose to the US’s security and our standing in the world. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
04/05/20·38m 34s

A Few Choice Words: Abortion Returns to the Supreme Court

Abortion returns to the Supreme Court with June Medical Services v Russo, which the Court heard March 4 and could decide any day. It’s the first big abortion case since Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were appointed by Trump, who promised in the 2016 campaign to select Justices who would overturn Roe v Wade. Former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, Leah (no relation) Litman, and Amy Howe join Harry to discuss the case and situate it in the 50-year sweep of the Court’s abortion jurisprudence since Roe. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
27/04/20·53m 47s

Law in the Time of Corona: Trump’s efforts to foil law enforcement oversight

An All-Feds classic, featuring 4 former AUSA’s/MSNBC contributors: Joyce Vance, Maya Wiley, Andrew Weissmann, and Harry. The feds focus on the federal, state and local law enforcement’s responses to the virus, including the efforts to ensure (and Trump’s resistance to) effective oversight; the DOJ’s ongoing work and its political support of Trump; and the only partially successful effort to integrate law enforcement and health care, especially for vulnerable sub-populations. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
20/04/20·45m 36s

Talking Feds 1-on-1: A Conversation with Val Demings

In this first ever Talking Feds 1-on-1, Harry speaks with congresswoman Val Demings from her Florida home where she’s sheltered in place. After discussing the challenges in Florida to ameliorate the effects of COVID-19, they discuss Demings‘s career in the Orlando Police Department, where she became the first ever female chief, and her recent experience as an impeachment manager. They end with discussion of her inclusion on lists of possible vice presidential candidates for Joe Biden. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
16/04/20·25m 58s

COVID-19 & the November Election: A National Crisis in the Making

The National Task Force on Election Crises formed last year to try in a bipartisan effort to anticipate and stave off a series of possible catastrophes for the November 2020 election.  Now they are leading the charge to put in place measures to keep the virus from swamping the election or undermining its legitimacy.  Three of the most prominent members of the Task Force—Michael Chertoff, Vanita Gupta, and Jim Baker—join Harry to spell out the biggest risks and detail their recommendations. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
13/04/20·44m 39s

Tequila & Quaaludes: Trump’s mismanagement of the Coronavirus

Three of the most prominent Feds – David Frum, Matt Miller, and Ashley Parker – join Harry to dissect the domestic, political, and international consequences of the President’s erratic management of the coronavirus. Does Trump own his early bungling, or will at least his base once again give him a pass?  Are his daily conferences and Biden’s isolation working strongly in his favor?  And will there be long-term consequences to the United States's previous leadership position on the world stage? See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/04/20·39m 24s

Focus on American Universities: Fighting for DACA Dreamers and Coping With COVID-19

A special episode bringing together the Presidents of the University of California, Princeton, and Notre Dame. The Presidents first explain how they are responding to the fears and threats in their institutions posed by COV-19. They then discuss at length their ardent support for the DACA Dreamers program and their opposition to the Trump Administration’s attempts to rescind the program, which the Universities have litigated all the way to the Supreme Court, where it is now pending. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
30/03/20·48m 7s

Governments’ Responses to COVID-19: The Good, The Bad, and The Ridiculous

The long-predicted grim effects of COVID-19 began to hit home in earnest, with numbers of cases in the U.S. doubling every 2-3 days, the economy in free fall, supermarket shelves emptied, and whole states and communities ordered to stay at home.  Chris Lu, Barb McQuade, Anne Milgram, and Asha Rangappa –former feds with rich and varied experience in governmental responses to emergencies – join Harry to assess the governments’ work to date and to analyze the formidable difficulties that await us. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
23/03/20·43m 3s

Corona Cataclysm: a national emergency and a political wild card

Juliette Kayyem, Matt Miller, and Natasha Bertrand join Harry and bring to bear extensive expertise on the emergency management, policy, and political aspects of the Covid-19. We run through testing, turf battles, failures of presidential leadership and more before looking ahead to capacity problems and specific needed measures, closing with an analysis of the likely effects on the presidential race. Lots of rich analysis and nitty-gritty details that will be new to listeners.  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
16/03/20·50m 5s

Corona Clusterf**k

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) exploded into public consciousness this week, and nobody seems to know how widespread, long-lasting, and serious its impact will be. The Administration was caught flat-footed, having squandered several weeks of preparation time. Dramatic measures such as quarantines and school closings were suddenly in play.National security experts Frank Figliuzzi and Juliette Kayeem and public health law expert Wendy Mariner join Harry to explain just where we are and where we might be headed. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
09/03/20·48m 57s

Was the Killing of Qasem Soleimani Legal?

The Trump-ordered drone killing of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s second ranking political official, raises profound and exquisitely difficult questions of legality under international law and the federal constitution’s war power clauses.  A spectacular panel of war powers experts-- Harvard Professor Jack Goldsmith, New York Times Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Charlie Savage, and University of Texas Professor Steve Vladeck --join Harry to grapple with these questions. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
02/03/20·49m 50s

Ignorance is Strength: Trump’s War on Fact

In the wake of the impeachment trial, the President has gone into overdrive seeking to root out from government anyone seen as personally disloyal, including those who provide truthful information pursuant to legal duty.  At the same time, he seems obsessed with trying to scrub away any facts that might reflect poorly on him. Feds Frank Figliuzzi, Matt Miller, and Sam Vinograd analyze the President’s mad assaults in the context of the Stone sentencing and the ouster of Joseph Maguire. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
24/02/20·48m 9s

Stone Cold Disaster at DOJ

The Feds convene inside the LA office of Congressman Ted Lieu, a critical figure in the impeachment effort from his post on the House Judiciary Committee, at the end of a week of scandal and tumult at the DOJ. Congressman Lieu, former AUSA Prof. Laurie Levenson, and Atlantic writer Todd Purdum join Harry to discuss the cross currents of DOJ conduct, which ended the week with a Barr interview pushing back on Trump’s tweets and the announcement that Trump enemy Andy McCabe would not be prosecuted. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
17/02/20·48m 38s

Has the Presidency Grown Too Powerful for the Constitution?

Notwithstanding serious misconduct by President Trump of the sort that impeachment and removal seemed designed to address, there never was a serious prospect that the Senate would convict him.  What went wrong?  Scholars and former government officials Bob Bauer, Rick Pildes, and Kate Shaw join Harry to discuss how Supreme Court decisions, executive branch aggrandizement, congressional acquiescence, and social and political forces have sapped impeachment of the strength the Framers intended. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
10/02/20·58m 54s

Partial Acquittal

In this special Talking Feds Now! episode, taped hours after the Senate voted to acquit President Trump, Frank Figliuzzi, Glenn Kirshner, and Barb McQuade join Harry with initial reactions and analysis.  Is the verdict an unalloyed triumph, as Trump’s ardent defenders proclaim, or inconclusive given the failure to even present evidence? To what extent did the defection of Senator Romney take the luster off the verdict?  And what should we now expect by way of continuing oversight in the House? See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/02/20·45m 6s

Can I Get A Witness?

Republican strategist Rick Wilson joins Matt Miller, Jen Rodgers, and Harry for a post-mortem on the Senate vote to deny witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial and an assessment on the political ramifications of the decision.  They consider whether and how the Senate can rationalize the vote, and the possibility that McConnell’s political calculation was errant.  Looking past the coming acquittal to the election season, they then assess how the decision will play in the election and in history. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
04/02/20·47m 9s

We're Lost

Adam Schiff and the impeachment managers wrapped up three days of tightly focused and at times stirring argument that with few exceptions seemed to full on deaf ears of Republican senators. Paul Fishman, Anne Milgram, Asha Rangappa, and Todd S. Purdum (calling in from the hearings) join Harry to discuss the legal strategies of both sides, Adam Schiff's momentous performance, the comportment of the Senators, and the legal and political maneuvers over calling John Bolton and others as witnesses.  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
27/01/20·50m 16s

Will All Senators Now Stand

In a week in which the impeachment trial of President Trump commenced, there were ½ dozen other blockbuster stories, including the Parnas documents and interviews.  Natasha Bertrand, Matt Miller, and Joyce Vance join Harry to analyze a series of the biggest developments, including the Parnas materials, the ongoing battle over witnesses, the appointment of Starr and Dershowitz as Trump’s lawyers, and the investigation of James Comey for a three-year old leak. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
20/01/20·38m 2s

The Big Picture in Homeland Security: 2020 and Beyond

Three of the country’s premier experts in national security -- Frank Figliuzzi, Malcolm Nance, and Juliette Kayyem—in frank, unmediated discussion about the new threats to the nation heading into the 2020 election.  The Russian intervention in 2016 presents a sinister, existential hazard that calls for the same kind of paradigm shift in homeland security that the 2001 attacks required in intelligence.  And the Administration’s hostility to career professionals makes the threats that more keen. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
13/01/20·42m 10s

From Russia with Blood

The Feds cast a close focus on the scourge of Russian Organized Crime, which stepped into the gap left by the fall of the Soviet Union to play an illicit and controlling role in virtually every important in the country.  At the same time, it maintains remarkable ties with Putin’s government, which ultimately controls its actions, including ordering targeted killings of people all over the world who have fallen out of Putin’s favor; and it may have played a role in some of the Trump Organization’s business dealings over the last 15 years.  A panel of Russian OC specialists – David Hickton, the US Attorney who brought the first cybercrime case against Russian OC; Martha Boersch who brought and litigated the first important case in US courts involving Russian OC; and Heidi Blake, an investigative reporter whose new book provides an authoritative account on Putin’s use of OC to make war on the West, join Harry to plumb the depths of a singular threat to Western democracies. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/01/20·46m 28s

Demagoguing the Border: The Trump Administration’s Treatment of Migrant Families

In an episode taped live in Washington DC and co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and George Washington law School, Vanita Gupta, Leon Rodriguez, Lindsay Harris, and Andrea Senteno join Harry to describe and analyze the Trump Administration’s treatment of migrant families at the Southern border. The group traces the historical development of the issue and explains that, contrary to Administration rhetoric, virtually none of the tens of thousands of asylum seekers have histories of violent criminal conduct, and upwards of 95% of claimants with counsel appear for their hearings.  The panelists end with some potential solutions to a particularly vexing problem of law, policy, and politics.  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
30/12/19·55m 46s

Trump Impeached: An Act of Constitutional Fidelity

Mary Gay Scanlon, Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, joins Joyce Vance, Maya Wiley, and Harry Litman on the week in which the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making him only the 3rd president impeached in U.S. history.  The congresswoman adds to the group’s analysis the account of how it felt on the floor of the House as the Articles moved toward passage, and the sentiments within the Democratic Caucus.  The Feds all analyze the possibility the impeachment could backfire, the Democratic strategy of holding back on the Articles to try to force the Senate to agree to witnesses, and the prospect of additional future investigations in the House post-impeachment. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
23/12/19·47m 15s

"The Articles Are Agreed To"

The House Judiciary Committee voted out articles of impeachment against a President for the first time in a generation and only the fourth time in history, and sent to the floor a two-count case for impeachment that seems overwhelming in both the facts and the law.  But the vote was along strict partisan lines and all indications are that the Republicans in both Houses of Congress will hold near total ranks in support of the President, embracing a series of weak or diversionary arguments.  Feds Natasha Bertrand, Ron Klain, and Matt Miller join Harry to analyze the week and assess what happens next.  What short-, medium-, and long-term implications will the presumed impeachment/acquittal course of events have for Trump, the Republican Party, and the state of the Union? See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
16/12/19·47m 57s

What Will The Trial in the Senate Look Like?

Congressional and political experts Norm Ornstein, David Frum, and Elliot Williams join Harry to analyze the probable workings – from the broad strokes to the nitty gritty – of the expected upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.  Will Mitch McConnell control all aspects with an iron fist, and what if anything will make him part company from President Trump?  Will it all be a strictly political affair or will broader considerations of country and Constitution hold some sway? And how many votes for conviction can we expect the Republicans? See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
09/12/19·53m 50s

Impeachment Academy

The impeachment process moves to the Judiciary Committee, beginning with a panel of scholars addressing constitutional standards for impeachment and applying those standards to the set of facts that the testimony in the Intelligence Committee established beyond reasonable doubt.  We engage the historic moment with a two-part episode featuring a remarkably high-powered group of commentators exploring the political and the constitutional considerations of the prospective impeachment.  First, David Frum, Jill Wine-Banks, Liz Holtzman, and Harry analyze and appraise the Democrats’ strategy, including serious consideration of whether opening with a panel of scholars is a blunder.  Next, we reissue portions of a previous episode in which Professor Larry Tribe, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Congress (and Judiciary Committee) member Jamie Raskin, and Harry undertake a deep dive into the meaning of the pivotal constitutional term “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
02/12/19·1h 8m

The Impeachment Week That Was: If an avalanche of evidence falls in the Congress, can Republicans hear it?

It was one of the most dramatic and consequential weeks in the history of the Presidency, as the testimony of a series of witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee appeared to establish conclusively that President Trump had engaged in a corrupt and illegal course of conduct in his dealings with President Vlodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.  Yet at the end of this series of seismic hearings, it appeared that the House Republicans were prepared to continue to stand unanimously with the President.  Feds Matt Miller, Frank Figliuzzi, and Natasha Bertrand join Harry to assess where things stand and what if anything could force Congressional Republicans to acknowledge and come to grips with the President’s outrageous misconduct See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
25/11/19·39m 48s

Sondland Testifies: The Answer is Yes

Feds Jill Wine-Banks, Elie Honig, and Barb McQuade huddle for a deep dive on today’s blockbuster testimony from Gordon Sondland acknowledging that Pres Trump conditioned the White House meeting and the release of military aid on the announcement of investigations of Burisma/the Bidens and the 2016 Election. Is there room for Republicans to continue to argue there was no quid pro quo? And will there be a public drumbeat for testimony and documents that the Administration has so far managed to withhold? See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
21/11/19·44m 3s

The Impeachment Hearings Begin

In this Special Talking Feds Now! Episode on the first day of impeachment hearings, Harry, Barb McQuade, and Glenn Kirschner assess the performances of the Members of Congress, starting with Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes; the staff counsel; and the two opening witness, William Taylor and George Kent.  Schiff plainly approached the hearings as the accomplished prosecutor he used to be, and the Feds use that vantage point to explain what the Dems strategy was and how well they executed it.  They likewise evaluate the strategy and tactics of the Republicans and consider what they can credibly hope to achieve given the hand they’ve been dealt.  The Feds close with some thoughts about what to expect as the hearings unfold. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
14/11/19·41m 11s

Deja Vu: The Trump Impeachment Through the Prism of Past Impeachments

With Congress poised to begin public impeachment hearings, the Feds consider the coming historic juncture through the prism of the impeachment investigations of Presidents Nixon and Clinton.  Eyewitness participants in those dramas spell out key distinctions that shed light on the Trump impeachment and bring into relief some of the high hurdles facing the House Judiciary committee right now.  The episode brings together Judiciary Committee members and players from all 3 impeachment dramas—Elizabeth Holtzman, a Committee member and then the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress; Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment and a senior member today, and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, the current Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee,  and a member of the House Committee on Rules. Joining them is Lanny Breuer, former head of the Criminal Division at DOJ and special counsel to President Clinton during the 1998 impeachment trial. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
13/11/19·1h 9m

The Troubled State of Voting Rights Heading into the 2020 Election

The last 15 years have ushered in a series of daunting obstacles to voting rights in this county.  It turns out that the supposed principle of "one person one vote" falls short in the field to a series of impediments, beginning with three 5-4 Supreme Court opinions that have scaled back on the ability of minority voters in particular to participate on equal footing with other voters.  Returning Fed and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Law at the University of Alabama Joyce Vance, Congress Member (and manager of his brother's presidential campaign) Joaquin Castro, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights) Vanita Gupta, and Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub join Harry to  break down the state of voting rights in the country, analyzing the Court's actions and also poll closures, bogus charges of voter fraud, and the emasculation of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  They close with some hopeful developments on the horizon, beginning with proposed HR1, which would enact a laundry list of improvements and mitigate some of the harsh effects of the Court's decisions. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
04/11/19·57m 39s

“Is the Dam Breaking?” Part 2-- LIVE from Politicon in Nashville, Tennessee

Charter Fed Barb McQuade joins David Frum and Malcolm Nance for a deep dig of two other issues circling the impeachment crisis.  First, the Feds discuss the crazy wild card that is Rudy Giuliani, including his prospects for indictment from his old US Attorney’s office.  Is he at the end of the day a serious risk to the President, and will Trump cut him loose or try to hold him ever close?  Turning to the prospective drafting of articles of impeachment, the Feds consider whether and how to integrate into the basic charges the President’s term-long record of grave damage to national security and to the rule of law. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/10/19·55m 42s

“Is the Dam Breaking?” Part 1--LIVE from Politicon in Nashville, Tennessee

Former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart (who served Clinton during his impeachment trial) joins Feds Maya Wiley Jill Wine-Vance, and Harry Litman for a discussion of a number of facets of what is suddenly an impeachment crisis for the White House.  What (if anything) is the White House doing right and what is it doing wrong?  How does its efforts compare and contrast with the Clinton White House’s strategy in 1998?  Turning to the Congress, the Feds consider whether the Republicans “no due process” argument is getting any purchase and speculate on how both the House and the Senate Republicans will approach the coming crisis. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/10/19·53m 0s

The Federal Death Penalty

The Feds take up the most sober, and one of the most controversial, topics in the federal criminal justice system -- the federal death penalty.  There are currently 62 offenders on federal death row, a small fraction of the numbers in the state system, and the federal government has executed only 3 federal prisoners since 1963. So why do we have, and why do we need, a federal death penalty?  Given the different approaches to capital punishment in the states, should the federal system work to ensure uniformity among all federal capital defendants or should it reflect the variations in local communities?  As a practical matter, how does the decision whether to seek the death penalty work in the federal system? Finally, how does the Department of Justice approach the trials of capital crimes?  Feds Rod Rosenstein, Johnny Sutton, and Carmen Ortiz – 3 former U.S. Attorneys who have extensive personal involvement in federal capital cases – unpack all these questions and detail the personal experience of seeking the ultimate penalty. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
25/10/19·41m 9s

Get over it!

After a blockbuster week in both Congress and the Southern District of New York, Feds Frank Figliuzzi, Barb McQuade, and Elie Honig join Harry to assess the damage against the President and his country lawyer Rudy Giuliani.  Several witnesses gave forceful closed-door testimony about the President’s turning over Ukraine foreign policy to Giuliani, who apparently executed a scheme designed to further Trump’s political interests to the derogation of the country’s national security interests.  None of the witnesses might have drawn as much blood, however, as Trump’s own acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who acknowledge before the camera that a quid pro quo had occurred.  The Feds consider whether removal is now on the table, and also the repercussions of a potential indictment of Giuliani by his old office. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
21/10/19·40m 32s

Bill Barr’s Justice

Guest host Matthew Miller sits down with three reporters who cover The Department of Justice to find out what’s going on with Attorney General William Barr, the Ukraine investigation and more. Featuring Evan Perez, Katie Benner, Devlin Barrett. Bill Barr's 2001 interview can be found here. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
11/10/19·47m 46s

The Whistleblowers’ Moment

The whistleblower complaint filed by a member of the intelligence community has brought the Trump Administration to the precipice, imposing a far greater threat than did the Mueller probe. Several more whistleblower complaints against the Administration are stacked up and ready to go. Whistleblowers have arrived. But who are they, and what tends to happen to them after they blow the whistle? The Feds bear down on various aspects of the life and law of whistleblowers, with two of the most prominent whistleblower lawyers in the country and the author of a just-published book that gives an encyclopedic look at this suddenly critical set of players. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
07/10/19·44m 35s

Are we f***ed?

From Austin, Texas, it's a special bonus episode of Talking Feds. Harry Litman, Joyce Vance, Matt Miller, Asha Rangappa and Mieke Eoyang talk about the state of politics, the president and the law while producer Jennie tries to to get queso on the mic cables. It's a free-wheeling discussion in the back room at Cisco's in East Austin, so sit down and join us! See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
29/09/19·42m 58s

Trump Agonistes

After disclosure of a whistleblower complaint revealing President Trump’s efforts to strongarm the President of Ukraine into producing dirt on Joe Biden and subsequent WH efforts to conceal it, the Democrats moved quickly to initiate impeachment proceedings.  Talking Feds Ron Klain, Natasha Bertrand, and Frank Figliuzzi join Harry to analyze the depths of Trump’s troubles and the likely path of congressional investigation going forward. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
29/09/19·56m 3s

The Whistle is Blowing

Four Charter Feds – Frank Figliuzzi, Paul Fishman, Matt Miller, and Joyce Vance—join Harry Litman to analyze the complicated questions of law, politics, and national security swirling around the bombshell revelations that 1) a whistleblower complaint from someone in the national intelligence community has been filed but is being withheld from Congress notwithstanding the plain legal command to provide it; and 2) the complaint concerns President Trump’s attempting to strongarm the President of Ukraine into gathering dirt on Joe Biden’s son.  The Feds then turn their focus on Corey Lewandowski’s testimony in the House last week, including the devastating cross-examination by committee counsel Barry Berke,  and consider the possibility that Lewandowski could be charged with contempt. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
23/09/19·44m 16s


In the wake of unconfirmed reports that a Grand Jury in the District of Columbia refused to indict former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the feds convene in emergency TalkingFeds Now session to analyze what happened, assess how rare—and how embarrassing—a development it would have been, speculate on just what is happening now in the US Attorney’s office and Main Justice, and consider the Department’s next moves. Full episode transcripts available at Talking Feds dot com.                See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
14/09/19·27m 38s

SDNY (2); still in the house

Following up on the last episode insiders’ account of the fabled Southern District of New York, the Feds canvas various cases in which the SDNY is still investigating conduct by the Trump circle and Trump himself.  Trump insiders often have suggested that the greatest threat to the President and his family comes from the SDNY.  Now that the Mueller probe has run its course, what possible cases does the SDNY still have in store?  And if the SDNY does bring additional cases, will the new regime at the DOJ, led by AG Bill Barr, sign off on them? Full episode transcripts available at See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
10/09/19·42m 47s

La Cosa SDNY: An Insider’s Guide to the Most Renowned United States Attorney’s Office

The Southern District of New York – the United States Attorney’s Office based in Manhattan – is the most renowned federal prosecutor’s office in the Department of Justice—and it knows it. It has a famous independence and swagger, which it has earned with a long string of high-profile prosecutions, particularly of organized crime figures.  Friends of President Trump have long identified the SDNY as a bigger threat to his presidency than Robert Mueller. What makes this office tick, and so consistently excellent?  Three long time assistants and supervisors in the office sit down with Talking Feds host Harry Litman to detail what life and work is really like in the SDNY. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
03/09/19·52m 9s

Left of Boom: Violent Extremism and the Law

Guest host Frank Figliuzzi leads a discussion of fighting violent extremist crimes in the United States without compromising civil liberties. Frank is joined by Barbara McQuade, Mary McCord and Malcolm Nance. In the sidebar segment, Emmy award winning actor Bradley Whitford explains the difference between international and domestic terrorism. Full transcript available at   See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
27/08/19·57m 39s

The Republican Opposition

For many Republicans, the Trump Administration has posed a stark choice between values and outcomes, a choice that seems increasingly irreconcilable with the norms and practices of previous Republican administrations. Host Harry Litman talks with three Republicans who made the choice early on not to support the President's policies. William Kristol, political author and commentator, Peter Keisler, former acting Attorney General of the United States, and Carrie Cordero, former senior associate general counsel at the office of the Director of National Intelligence. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
19/08/19·1h 2m

The Pardon Power

What are the values and purposes behind the pardon power? How has President Trump used this executive power in his first term and how might he use it in the future?  Harry talks with an expert panel including Robert Bauer, former White House counsel and professor, Margaret Love, former pardon attorney, and Rachel Barkow, professor of Law at New York University and a former member of the United States Sentencing Commission. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
12/08/19·59m 49s

Who Fights for The People When the Government Won't?

They've sued white supremacists after Charlottesville, fought for bail reform in Missouri, and stood up in court for Welcoming Cities like Gary, Indiana. The former Feds at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law left the Justice Department to take on cases that have Constitutional claims at their core. They discuss the impact of their litigation efforts in areas where the U.S. government would traditionally play a role. Host Harry Litman is joined by ICAP's team of former Feds: Mary McCord, Joshua Geltzer, Amy Marshak, Annie Owens, Nicolas Riley, Seth Wayne.     See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
05/08/19·57m 17s

The Witness Has Left The Room

Three familiar Feds are joined by director Rob Reiner to assess the testimony of special Counsel Robert Mueller and consider the prospects for continued congressional investigation. Mueller testified to Congress for seven hours about the contents of his report. Although his answers were brief, he nonetheless painted a clear picture of misconduct and potential crimes committed by the President and his associates. Harry is joined by former Feds Melinda Haag, Martha Boersch and filmmaker Rob Reiner.  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
26/07/19·51m 18s

Mooting Mueller

Feds including some of the finest and most experienced trial lawyers in the country proffer specific, word-for-word, 5-minute lines of questioning for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  They defend their own lines of questioning and critiques others in turn.  The  Feds then engage in a trial lawyers’ discussion of what goals are achievable from Mueller’s testimony, which risks are worth taking and which are not, what tone to take in the questioning, how to handle the expected obstreperousness of the Republicans, how exactly to make use of the Mueller Report, and other fine points of the trial lawyer’s art as applied to this critical hearing. Full transcripts available at Talking Feds dot com   See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
19/07/19·1h 2m

Congress's Last Stand: Mueller's Testimony

When Robert Mueller testifies on July 17th, the stakes for the House are enormous. The two committees must use the opportunity to make the American people understand the gravity of the offenses and misconduct laid out in the Report, but that is no easy task. How should they approach it in broad strokes? How do they get meaningful answers, respectfully, from Robert Mueller?  Harry Litman is joined by Andrew McCabe, Ron Klain, Tim Lynch, and Matt Miller for a discussion in front of a live audience. You can also watch video of the live discussion at This episode was sponsored by Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and The American Constitution Society. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
12/07/19·1h 1m

Trump’s Interference with the DOJ

Feds Jamie Gorelick, Paul Fishman, and Amy Jeffress – a group with hugely rich experience from line Assistant U.S. Attorneys to the highest reaches of Main Justice—describe and explain the norms that should govern the interactions between political employees and career prosecutors.  Those norms were firmly respected before the Trump Administration, which has routinely flouted them, infecting DOJ’s law enforcement function with crass political considerations.  The result is a series of body blows to the Department, from the morale of career employees to its reputation for impartiality before the federal courts.  The Feds close with some surmises about how likely it is that the damage will outlive the Trump Administration, and what restoring DOJ culture will require. Full transcripts and more available at See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
09/07/19·43m 46s

“Public sentiment is everything”

Pivoting off President Abraham Lincoln’s famous maxim, the Feds consider the state of public opinion about the current President’s many serious transgressions. What explains the apparent indifference of wide swaths of the American public to the President’s assault on constitutional values and the rule of law? What are the prospects for Mueller’s upcoming testimony or other events to break through the apparent impasse? And is there a moral obligation to push back on the constitutional outrages whether or not there are reasonable prospects of changing the current calculus? Harry is joined by Barbara McQuade, Frank Figliuzzi and Julie Zebrak. And stay tuned after the discussion for a preview of the Talking Feds live event July 8-11 in Washington, DC. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
06/07/19·30m 34s

Mueller Report Myths and Gerrymandered Maps

In this special Feds Now episode, The Feds break down the myths of the Mueller Report, as first elucidated in a recent Time Magazine article. Host Harry Litman is joined by the co-authors of the article, former US Attorneys and Talking Feds charter members Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance. The Feds then turn to the ramifications of the 5-4 Supreme Court on political gerrymandering with Richard Cordray, who clerked for two Supreme Court justices and was the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/06/19·51m 49s

No Hope

The Feds take up the administration’s assertion of absolute immunity for Hope Hicks, including whether absolute immunity is even a viable legal concept. They then consider a new Supreme Court decision that potentially points the way towards a legal breakthrough in the impasse between the White House and Congress. Finally, they consider the sobering possibility that the race is over even as Congress continues to run in place. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
24/06/19·44m 43s

Ted Talks

The Feds are honored to be joined by Rep. Ted Lieu, a forceful presence on the House Judiciary Committee. We begin with a probing look at the legal, ethical, and political implications of the President’s suggestion that it’s fine for a campaign to take negative information about an opponent from a foreign country, including the seemingly untenable position that Trump has imposed on FBI Director Christopher Wray by directly contradicting him in public.  Following a sidebar from Prof Larry Tribe on the federal government’s obligation to provide information to criminal defendants, the Feds engage in a candid assessment of Congress’s attempts to date to bring the Mueller report to life before the American public, ending with Rep Lieu’s declaration that  "[w]e are going to get McGahn to testify at some point." See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
17/06/19·42m 34s

A House Divided

The Feds consider the White House’s radical and unprecedented strategy to not only rebuff all investigative demands from the House, but to deny the very legitimacy of the House’s oversight.  They unpack the voicemail from the President’s lawyer asking Michael Flynn’s lawyer for a “heads up”of Flynn’s communications with Mueller.  They then bat around a new proposal from Prof Larry Tribe that potentially could break through the drastic logjam. Host Harry Litman is joined by former Feds Asha Rangappa, Elliot Williams, and Barbara McQuade. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
10/06/19·41m 26s

High Crimes and Misdemeanors (feat. Professor Laurence Tribe, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, and Congressman Jamie Raskin)

An unbelievably high-powered panel-- Professor Laurence Tribe, Dean Erwin Chemerinksy, and Congressman and Judiciary Committee member Jamie Raskin--take up an incredibly important topic,  "High Crimes and Misdemeanors." The three set aside some common misconceptions and agree on important aspects of the constitutional term. They then turn to plow new ground, each opining on what potential offense by the President is the most serious and predicting how the Congress may view differently the Venn diagram of potential impeachable offenses.  Finally, they offer their thoughts on whether we are at a moment of constitutional failure, and whether the constitutional scheme is likely to prove equal to the stresses that the President has imposed on it. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
03/06/19·38m 24s

The Day Bob Mueller Spoke

On the day when Robert Mueller broke his 2-year silence, the Feds convene in a special @talkingfeds Now! Episode to tell you what wasn’t said in the wall-to-wall coverage.  Each Fed offers up in roundtable order a detail or nuance that the coverage overlooked or underreported, filling in some critical blanks and implications in the first and perhaps only statement that Mueller will make. Harry is joined by Barbara McQuade, Mimi Rocah and Elie Honig. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
30/05/19·32m 39s

Do Overs and Cover Ups

The Feds analyze the current apparent impasse between the Administration and the House of Representatives and discuss possible inroads that the House Democrats could nevertheless execute.  They detail possible witnesses that the House still can call.  They conclude by considering the legal and political implications of the two district court victories upholding subpoenas for financial records of the President, including before 2016. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/05/19·43m 59s

Game of Trump: A Song of Vice and Ire

The Feds discuss the implications of the revelation that some member(s) of Congress helped dangle a pardon to Michael Flynn, and the importance of the district court’s muscular intervention in ordering that the information be made public. They then consider Trump's deranged tweet about treason and the overall impact of Trump's threats now that he has an apparent ally and loyal servant in the Attorney General of the United States. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
20/05/19·45m 32s

The Counterintelligence Investigation: What it is, why it matters

Of all the many aspects of the various Trump dramas, the counter-intelligence investigation of the President and his campaign can be the hardest to understand and follow, not least because it remains highly classified and we have no way to chart its progress with certainty.  But we can bring a depth of knowledge and experience to the topic, and that is what Feds Frank Figliuzzi and Josh Campbell, who both have extensive FBI experience, do in this episode.  The Feds provide a detailed but nuts-and-bolts explanations of how counter-intelligence investigations work, and then analyze the prospects over the next two years for the remarkable counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign and the president himself. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
14/05/19·54m 20s

Barr on the Rocks

A Talking Feds NOW special episode.  The Feds convene in emergency session to dissect the Attorney General’s remarkable testimony today before the Senate Judiciary Committee and to analyze the import of Barr’s apparent decision to act as an advocate for the President’s personal interests.  Host Harry Litman is joined remotely by Robert Raben, Barbara McQuade and Matthew Miller. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
02/05/19·33m 52s

Mueller in the House

As the center of investigation of Trump’s misconduct moves to the House, a group of Feds who have special in-depth knowledge of Congressional investigations predict what lies ahead. The Feds discuss the likely maneuvers of three House Committees and the likely counter maneuvers of the Department of Justice. They consider the prospects for the House to get the Mueller Report without redactions, and the possible critical roles for public opinion and the handful of moderate Republican Senators. Harry is in Washington, D.C. with Robert Raben, Elliot Williams and Matt Miller. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
26/04/19·37m 33s

A Deep Dive Into Murky Waters

The Feds probe deeply into the 438-page redacted Mueller report,  training their focus in in particular on the respective roles of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr.  Was Mueller’s decision to shy away from a bottom line judgment on obstruction of justice appropriate?  Is Barr not an honest broker, and if not, why not? The Feds tell us the one thing that surprised them the most in the Mueller report.  Host Harry Litman is in La Jolla, CA by Carol Lam, Jennifer Rodgers and from Tucson, AZ by Frank Figliuzzi.   See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
24/04/19·51m 3s

The Mueller Report: And Now What?

The Feds convene in emergency session to discuss the Mueller report and the Barr press conference.  They analyze whether Barr was a faithful expositor or an advocate for Trump, and whether Mueller’s intent was to leave the judgment on obstruction to Congress. Host Harry Litman is joined remotely by Amy Jeffress, Jennifer Rodgers and Paul Fishman. Read the full report See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
18/04/19·28m 44s

Redaction Reaction

The Feds analyze what to expect from the soon-to-issue Mueller report and offer educated surmises on the internal dynamics within DOJ, including the relationship between the Special counsel’s office and the Attorney General. They then take up the Assange case, again explaining the dynamics within government and evaluating whether it was a case that should have been brought. Host, Harry Litman, is joined in the Washington D.C. studio by Amy Jeffress, Julie O'Sullivan, and Matthew Miller. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
16/04/19·37m 28s

Report Summary: [REDACTED]

The Feds analyze the outbreak of the war of press leaks between the Mueller camp and the Barr camp and the emerging dueling versions of Barr’s decision to give the President a pass on obstruction. They then consider the prospects that the House will be able to secure the unredacted Mueller Report and the President’s tax returns. Host, Harry Litman, is joined remotely by Joyce Vance, Paul Fishman, and Matthew Miller. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
08/04/19·43m 28s

The Mueller We Know

At a time of intense curiosity about the contents of the Mueller Report, and assessment of Mueller’s key decisions over the course of the probe, this episode brings together prominent former federal officials who each worked closely and at length under Mueller when he was United States Attorney and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director. Their vantage points, generally absent from the public discussion to date, give rise to educated surmises about Mueller’s calculations over the life of the probe to the present day, when he possibly is at odds with the Attorney General about critical conclusions from his probe. Host, Harry Litman, is joined in the San Francisco studio by Melinda Haag, Martha Boersch, and Candace Kelly. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
01/04/19·43m 51s

Mueller Punts, Barr Intercepts

The Feds debate Special counsel Robert Mueller’s baffling decision not to reach a judgment as to the President guilt of obstruction and the Attorney General’s decision to step into the breach and clear Trump. They then discuss the many perils that remain for Trump and his circle from investigations in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere. Host, Harry Litman, is joined remotely by Barbara McQuade and Mimi Rocah. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
28/03/19·34m 29s

Breaking News: The Report Is In

The Feds convene an emergency session to discuss Bob Mueller’s long-awaited submission of his report to the Attorney General. Host, Harry Litman, is joined remotely by Paul Fishman, Julie Zebrak, and Matthew Miller. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
23/03/19·28m 6s

Pardon Me

The Feds consider whether it was appropriate for the Manhattan DA to file pardon-proof charges against Paul Manafort, then describe the specific steps Congress and the DOJ would take to investigate the emails to Michael Cohen suggesting Trump and Giuliani may have dangled a pardon to keep him silent. Host, Harry Litman, is joined in the Washington D.C. studio by Elliot Williams, Julie Zebrak, and Elie Honig. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
18/03/19·31m 47s

Mueller Done, Manafort Undone?

The Feds discuss what the Mueller Report might look like and what happens after it drops, then turn to consideration of Paul Manafort's prospects for ever getting out of prison. Host, Harry Litman, is joined in the Washington D.C. studio by Joyce Vance, Paul Fishman, and Matthew Miller. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
14/03/19·38m 2s

An Introduction

Talking Feds is a prosecutors’ roundtable that brings together some of the most well-known former prosecutors in the country for a detailed, dynamic, and entertaining analysis of the most pressing questions in high-profile criminal cases, including the Mueller probe and related investigations. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
12/03/19·1m 4s
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