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Talking Feds

News & Politics Podcasts

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.


United States


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.






Crime Fraud Expected

Laura Coates, David Jolly, and Jen Rubin join Harry to analyze the legal nooses tightening around Donald Trump. The Manhattan DA investigation stalled on the very precipice of bringing criminal, but while the internal workings in that office were inscrutable, there’s scant reason to think that the office won’t move ahead. And the federal court delivered two strong blows against Trump and in favor of the DOJ, rejecting claims of privilege from Evan Corcoran, Mark Meadows, & other Trump...


Bragging Rights & Ukraine Slights

It was a week when things got real: Fromer President Donald Trump prepared to be arrested on charges in New York City, a first in US history; the DeSantis-Trump squabbling came suddenly to unnerve Ukraine and the EU and threaten the U.S’s future support; and China made a dramatic move to be a Middle East power broker, with implications throughout the region and world. A superb group of seasoned political commentators–Peter Baker, Bill Kristol, & Tara Setmayer–analyze the sobering...


National Forecast: Stormy

It was a week when you could feel the vibrations of coming battles all over: the first ever indictment of a former President; Fox staring down the barrel of a jury trial in Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation suit; the schism between R elites, who favor DeSantis, and immovable Trump supporters; & bitter struggles over abortion rights in several states. A superb group of guests-Laura Jarrett, Alicia Menendez, & Ashley Parker-joins Harry to break it all down and analyze the shape of things to...


MAGA, May I?

The unseemly political alliance between the MAGA right and Fox Corp. burst into plain view. Filings in a defamation suit showed Fox knowingly pushing the Big Lie and Speaker McCarthy hand-delivered to Tucker Carlson alone some 44,000 hours of security footage from Jan. 6. A terrific panel of savvy commentators–Sen Al Franken, Jon Alter, and Juliette Kayyem–work through the toxic implications and forecast the future state of play. And a sidebar from songwriter and musician Dan Wilson. See...


Zelensky Zugzwang

The anniversary of the Ukraine war marks a time to reflect on the current state of play on the battlefield; the strategic interests of Ukraine and Russia but also the U.S., Europe, & China; the war’s broader geopolitical and in fact historical implications; and the miserable prospect of an endless conflict so long as Putin remains in power. A truly fantastic group of experts—Ben Rhodes, Garry Kasparov, & Natasha Bertrand—joins Harry for a rich exploration of all these points and more. See...


Jack Attack & Pence Defense

With the vantage points legal and political worlds locked on the coming few months, to possible indictments new Presidential candidates, a fantastic group of prominent commentators–Maggie Haberman, Josh Marshall, and Charlie Sykes—join Harry to analyze the political and legal stress points and consider likely outcomes. They discuss the series of aggressive prosecutorial moves by Special Counsel Jack Smith and the prospects of multiple Republican candidates such as Nikki Haley to take Trump...


Joe Jitsu

At the end of a week featuring the State of the Union, the debut of the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government, and the delivery of a subpoena to former Vice President Mike Pence, Aaron Blake, Susan Glasser, Carol Lee join Harry to analyze the political substance & theater. Each of these events involved clashes between representatives of the Trump era and the Biden presidency, which continues to draw only tepid public approval notwithstanding significant domestic...


Ne Plus Ultra: Rachel Maddow on American Fascism 1940s to Today

In a very special 1-on-1 episode of Talking Feds, Rachel Maddow joins Harry to discuss the stunning, and relatively unknown, historical episodes of American flirtation with fascism and armed insurrection in the 1940s, which she chronicles in her latest tour-de-force podcast, Ultra. After delving into some of the highlights of the remarkable 80-year-old story, the two discuss the possible lessons for our own troubled times and how we as a society can push back against today’s parallel...


Under Cover of Law

Calls for police reform in the wake of the killing of Tyre Nichols dominated the weekly news, along with the slash-&-burn moves of R committees in the House and two NY cases acting like pincers in applying pressure to Donald Trump. A fantastic set of guests–Congressman Ted Lieu, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Carol Leonnig, and former Congress and DOJ official Elliot Williams–join Harry to identify the fault lines, assess the political & legal fine points, and predict where things are...


Groundhog Day in Washington

It was a week when the new Republican majority in the House showed its colors. Speaker McCarthy announced committee assignments that empowered some of the country’s most unhinged political figures and a committee structure featuring a special committee on the weaponization of government that promised a steady stream of vitriolic battles with the White House and executive branch. David Frum, Kavita Patel, & Michael Schmidt join Harry to break it all down, plus Pence docs, Barr Durham, and...


DOJ Confidential

Perhaps our most lively and informative repeating series of episodes is the quarterly deep dive into the DOJ from 3 analysts who know the Department inside and out: Katie Benner, Matt Miller, and Andrew Weissmann. This week is the latest one and in the nick of time: there has been detailed factual coverage of the Biden docs, Garland’s appointment of Hur, Smith investigations, the House lying in wait to afflict the DOJ. Now it’s time to dig deep into what’s happening beneath the surface. See...


Special (Counsel) Effects

Divided government comes to DC and the gloves are off, 3 of the country’s most prominent analysts of the ways of Congress and DC—Jackie Alemany, Luke Broadwter, and Norm Ornstein, join Harry to break it down. The discovery of classified documents in Biden’s office & residence forced the hand of Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel. In the House, Kevin McCarthy & his far-right allies pushed through a rules package that augured a steady stream of investigations & a potential debt...


Speaker Squeaker

The longest speaker battle since the Civil War played out in a slow-motion humiliation of Kevin McCarthy, who offered repeated concessions to the Freedom Caucus before finally mustering a majority of votes. A stellar set of guests – Gloria Borger, Jonathan Capeheart, and Robert Costa–breaks down the battle and its aftermath. They then turn to the 2-year anniversary of Jan 6, discussing what need happen to the Republican party before the country can fully shed the toxic effects of Trump’s...


Special Year-End Episode: How Will We Go Down in History?

A special topical episode with 3 of the country’s most eminent historians & social critics–Eric Foner, Eddie Glaude, and Heather Cox Richardson. The group first discusses the degree to which our tempestuous period resembles prior flirtations with authoritarianism. We broaden the focus to those features of our democracy that expose us to the menaces of Trumpism and a critical examination of whether the yin & yang of our political system condemn us to repetitions of the struggles of recent...


The Very Model of a Modern Mayor

This special topical episode focuses on municipal government, and the mayors who exercise it, featuring 3 of the country’s most distinguished recent mayors. The last few years have been a crash course in federal and state power. But it’s at the municipal level that the potholes and garbage pickups hit the road and an American ideal of representative democracy can be most directly achieved. And in recent years, many mayors have dramatically expanded their roles into issues of global...


Referral Madness

It’s the last days of the year, & 4 separate govt hubs are in overdrive: the January 6 Committee, finalizing its report & referrals; the lame duck Congress, w/ important final legislation such as the Electoral Count act; the Republican caucus, full of intrigue over whether Kevin McCarthy can squeak into the Speakership; & the DOJ, where investigations of Trump continue to pick up steam. A great set of DC insiders–Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Norm Eisen, and Ali Vitali—brings it all...


Supreme Contortions

A week of high-profile critical developments for Trump, the Supreme Court, the DOJ, and Congress. A phenomenal group of expert commentators—Emily Bazelon, Prof Laurence Tribe, and Sen Sheldon Whitehouse—joins Harry to break it all down. They begin with lessons from Georgia Senate runoff; go on to Supreme Court argument in Moore v Harper, which carries the potential to upend democratic rule itself; and finish by discussing the most serious of the many grave legal threats confronting Donald...


Oath Keepers and House Speakers

A great trio of prominent commentators–Katie Benner, Aaron Blake, and George Conway–join Harry to break down a very good week for the rule of law joined with a rockier one on the political and social landscapes. The roundtable covers the broader legal and political importance of the Oath trial; the strongest of the many legal threats against Trump, the end game for J6C; & possible moves of the lame duck Congress to batten down the hatches before the coming storms of Republican rule in the...


Public Education in Crisis

Public school education is the cornerstone of equal opportunity for all students and the key to the country’s future prosperity and competitiveness. In the last few years, it has plunged into a crisis far greater than most people realize, posting benchmarks that national officials call “appalling” and “unacceptable.” In this special topical episode of Talking Feds, 3 of the country’s leading education experts join Harry to analyze the woeful state of affairs and consider ways out of the...


And Now This Special (Counsel) Announcement

On a week of tumultuous and hugely consequential developments on both the political and legal landscapes, Harry welcomes Sen Barbara Boxer, Norm Ornstein, and Michael Steele to work through the aftershocks of the Republicans’ gaining control of the Senate, Nancy Pelosi’s decision to step down as Speaker of the House, former President Trump’s declaration of candidacy, & AG Merrick Garland’s appointment of Jack Smith as Special Counsel to take charge of the criminal investigations involving...