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The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg
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The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg

Author: Chuck Rosenberg, NBC News

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Listen in on revealing conversations with former officials from the highest levels of government shaping this pivotal moment in American history — what shaped these leaders, what drew them to public service, and what keeps them up at night.

23 Episodes
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Roberta Jacobson was the United States Ambassador to Mexico from 2016 through 2018.  A graduate of Brown University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Roberta became an expert on the Americas and particularly on Mexico during her more than three decades of public service at the State Department. She enjoyed postings in Argentina and Peru, served as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, and led the US delegation that reestablished formal diplomatic ties with Cuba, at the behest of President Obama, in 2016.  But Mexico was her focus. She was deeply respected on both sides of the border for her integrity, intellect, diligence, and brought a passion for Mexico and its history and people to her post.   In this episode, Roberta talks to Chuck Rosenberg about the role of the State Department in foreign policy and international affairs and the vital work of the men and women dedicated to this crucial mission. She also discusses our relationship with Mexico and the challenges faced by both sides as we move forward.  As usual, if you have thoughtful feedback or criticism please email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
John Pistole: Full Circle

John Pistole: Full Circle

2019-11-0601:09:263

John Pistole’s remarkable life has come full circle. A career FBI special agent who rose through the ranks to become the Deputy Director (the second highest official in the Bureau), John held that crucial and sensitive position longer than anyone in the history of the FBI and, in his case, under iconic Director Robert Mueller.Though John imagined that would be his last job in public service, President Obama tapped him in 2010 to serve as the head of the Transportation Security Administration - an agency John led for almost five years and through significant change.Raised in Anderson, Indiana, on the campus of Anderson University - where his father and sister both taught - John has since returned to his alma mater to serve as the President of Anderson University. Indeed, his life has come full circle.On The Oath, John shares fascinating stories of his work as an FBI special agent, of working with and for Bob Mueller after 9/11, and of reforming the TSA, including the use of intelligence assessments and risk mitigation strategies to drive TSA operations.If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, please email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com
MSNBC national security analyst, Jeremy Bash has an extensive background in intelligence and national security affairs at the highest levels of the United States Government.After graduating from Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, he clerked for a federal judge before serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He then served as Chief-of-Staff to Leon Panetta, both at the Central Intelligence Agency (where Panetta served as the Director) and at the Department of Defense (where Panetta served as the Secretary of Defense).Jeremy tells host Chuck Rosenberg some fascinating stories of time in the CIA, including the tragic 2009 murder of seven CIA personnel at Camp Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, and the riveting account of the operation to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, please email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com
Bob Paulson: The Mountie

Bob Paulson: The Mountie

2019-10-2301:12:54

After a remarkable career in law enforcement, Bob Paulson retired as the 23rd Commissioner of the iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Bob explains the RCMP, also known as The Mounties, and its unique mandate as national, provincial, and municipal law enforcement in Canada. It's also responsible for three territories, eight provinces, more than 150 municipalities, and more than 600 Indigenous communities.On The Oath, Bob discusses his stalled career as a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot and his transition to policing. Bob rose quickly through the enlisted and officer ranks of The Mounties, where he stood out as a thoughtful, intelligent, and selfless leader.As host Chuck Rosenberg’s first international guest on The Oath, Bob discusses the RCMP’s shameful past in connection with Canada’s notorious residential schools and the painful reconciliation that took place in Canada and within the RCMP many years later.If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, please email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
James Stavridis retired from the United States Navy as a four-star admiral and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, the only Navy Admiral ever to serve in that crucial role. His retelling of his work in NATO, including its special design, challenges, and impact, is essential for anyone interested in global affairs.Jim also tells host Chuck Rosenberg some fascinating tales of his time in the Navy. During his service, Jim rotated through some of the most difficult and sensitive jobs in the military. In one recounting of mistakes made and lessons learned at sea, Jim remembers almost running a destroyer aground in the Suez Canal as a young officer. The result is a remarkable study in humility and leadership.A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Jim is the acclaimed author of four books: The Accidental Admiral, Sea Power, Destroyer Captain, The Leader’s Bookshelf (with R. Manning Ancell) and most recently, Sailing True North.If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Anthony Williams: The Mayor

Anthony Williams: The Mayor

2019-10-0901:04:22

Anthony Williams's path to becoming the fifth mayor of Washington, D.C. was circuitous.During the Vietnam years, Williams left college to join the Air Force, ultimately leaving the service as a conscientious objector. He was given an honorable discharge in 1974 and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a BA in Political Science from Yale College. Williams then earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.Anthony served in local and state governments in Boston, St. Louis, and Connecticut, before President Clinton appointed him as the first Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Anthony became the CFO for the District of Columbia, before becoming mayor of the District and rescuing the city from the brink of financial ruin.If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, please email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Joyce Vance: Sweet Home

Joyce Vance: Sweet Home

2019-10-0201:01:18

Joyce Vance was an Assistant United States Attorney in Alabama for many years. Rising through the ranks in Birmingham, she was confirmed by the Senate as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. She handled a wide variety of fascinating cases, including one in which the police preyed on vulnerable immigrants in a small Alabama town. Her path to public service was borne partly of tragedy. In 1989, her father-in-law and federal appellate judge Robert Vance, was murdered by a mail bomb. That event set Joyce Vance on her path to federal prosecutor in her adopted home of Birmingham. Joyce is also an avid knitter and a well-known contributor of legal analysis to MSNBC. Email us any thoughtful feedback at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Kathy Ruemmler: The Counsel

Kathy Ruemmler: The Counsel

2019-09-2501:04:46

Kathy Ruemmler served for three years as White House Counsel to President Barack Obama. She advised the President on numerous complex issues and helped usher the Affordable Care Act into law.A graduate of the University of Washington and Georgetown Law School, Ruemmler was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and one of the Enron Task Force lead prosecutors. In one of the most complicated and brazen cases in US history, Ruemmler convicted former Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling of corporate fraud.In this episode, Kathy Ruemmler talks about her distinguished work in public service and return to private practice.As always, if you have thoughtful feedback, please email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
William McRaven: Send Me

William McRaven: Send Me

2019-09-1801:01:351

In this episode, Chuck Rosenberg interviews William McRaven, the former Commander of the United States Special Operations Command. McRaven retired from the US Navy as the longest serving Navy SEAL in American history.A Four-Star Admiral, McRaven played a crucial role in some of the most difficult special operations in US military history: the capture of Saddam Hussein and the killing of Osama bin Laden.McRaven is also the author of three books – Spec Ops, Make Your Bed (based on his famous graduation speech at the University of Texas which you may watch here) and Sea Stories. McRaven's personal story of courage, humility, and second chances is a deeply moving one.As always, email us with any thoughtful feedback at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Rob Spencer: Remember

Rob Spencer: Remember

2019-09-1001:03:311

On September 11, 2001, Assistant United States Attorney Rob Spencer sat in his Alexandria, Virginia office – five miles from the Pentagon – waiting to meet an FBI agent about a new extortion case. The al Qaeda attacks that day changed his life, as it changed the lives of so many people in this country. Rob, a career federal prosecutor with deep experience in national security cases, was tasked to lead the team of extraordinary prosecutors and agents from New York and Virginia who teamed up in the case against 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person ever charged and convicted in a US courtroom for his role in those horrific attacks. Rob describes the investigation and prosecution of that remarkable, complex, and emotional case. Rob also discusses the prodigious efforts to reach out to victim families to give them a voice in the proceedings, and helps us to remember those we lost – and those we continue to lose – as a result of the 9/11 attacks. For more, please read the 9/11 Commission Report at https://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdfAs always, email us with any thoughtful feedback or comments at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
James Comey discusses his return to public service as a federal prosecutor in Richmond, Virginia, his approach to violent crime and public corruption in that city, and how the prosecution of a Richmond minister later informed his decision in the Martha Stewart case.James also describes a deeply personal and tragic loss, and the remarkable insights he gleaned working for and with three presidents: Bush, Obama, and Trump. He also discusses his Hard Truths speech, which you can find a transcript of here.James, the former Director of the FBI and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is back on The Oath for the second half of our conversation – and the last episode in our first season.James is also the author of the best-selling book, A Higher Loyalty.As always, we appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Write to us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Former colleagues routinely describe Pat Fitzgerald as the finest federal prosecutor they have ever known. Humble, honest, and brilliant, Pat served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan for more than a decade, before becoming the United States Attorney–the chief federal prosecutor–in Chicago.Pat discusses with Chuck Rosenberg the fascinating cutting edge work of FBI agents and prosecutors in New York on pre 9/11 terrorism cases, including the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings, and the first Al Qaeda operative to turn on that organization and to cooperate with law enforcement.Pat also shares riveting stories of New York Mafia prosecutions and reflects on the violent crime and gang issues that continue to afflict Chicago. Pat’s connections to the victims of the embassy bombing in Kenya continue to this day, through his work on the School of Hope Foundation.To get involved or make a donation visit schoolofhopekenya.org.As always, email us with any thoughtful feedback or comments at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Barbara McQuade served as a federal prosecutor in Detroit for nearly two decades, first as an Assistant United States Attorney and then as the Senate confirmed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.On The Oath, Barb discusses some of the most important and interesting cases she handled, including the horrific story of Dr. Farid Fata, an oncologist, who deceived hundreds of his patients by falsely diagnosing them with cancer and then treating them with expensive and unnecessary chemotherapy.Barb also discusses her prosecution of three Iraqi spies, an incorrigibly corrupt mayor, and a scheme that enabled Volkswagen to brazenly cheat on emissions tests, using deliberately rigged software to undermine the testing process. Barb currently teaches law at her alma mater, the University of Michigan, and is a popular legal analyst on MSNBC.You can follow Barb on Twitter at @BarbMcQuade,If you have thoughtful feedback, email us at TheOathPodcast@gmail.com.
Nicolle Wallace has had a fascinating career at the intersection of journalism, politics, and public service. The popular host of MSNBC’s Deadline White House, Nicolle talks about her first jobs as a reporter for television stations in Fargo, North Dakota and Chico, California, her work in Florida politics for Governor Jeb Bush, and her two stints working for President George W. Bush in the White House.From her perspective as Communications Director for President Bush, she discusses her deep affection for the Bush family, the extraordinary women that helped shape the Bush 43 presidency, and the many challenges the president faced during his two terms in office, including in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As she does each day on television, Nicolle brings her wisdom, wit, and insight to The Oath.Nicolle is the author of three best-selling novels that draw on her experiences working in the White House: Eighteen Acres, Madam President, and It’s Classified.Questions? Comments? Thoughtful feedback? Email the show at theoathpodcast@gmail.com
Sally Yates: Decisions

Sally Yates: Decisions

2019-05-2901:14:001

Sally Yates rose through the ranks of the Justice Department over the course of a 27-year career to serve as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States–the second highest ranking position in DOJ. Through a series of deeply personal and fascinating stories, Sally shares her journey from young lawyer representing an indigent African American woman in a land dispute, to line federal prosecutor responsible for the prosecution of Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, to United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.On The Oath, Sally also discusses her role as Deputy Attorney General and her remarkable ten-day tenure as the Acting Attorney General of the United States, during which she commanded the Justice Department to refrain from enforcing a travel ban ordered by President Trump, directed at individuals from predominantly Muslim countries. Sally’s principled stance led the president to fire her for insubordination. Email the show at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
James Baker: Going Dark

James Baker: Going Dark

2019-05-2200:57:331

Jim Baker ran the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department both before and after 9/11 – the office responsible for handling extraordinarily sensitive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications.On The Oath, Jim discusses the FISA process and the ethical obligations of lawyers in that important unit that appear before federal judges ex parte (without opposing counsel) to obtain court-ordered authorization to conduct surveillance in crucial national security cases.Jim also talks about his work as the General Counsel of the FBI and several fascinating issues that arose during his tenure, including the debate over encryption following the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the “Going Dark” problem, and how the FBI addressed a difficult issue that affected the work of the storied FBI Laboratory. Jim is the Director of National Security and Cybersecurity at the R Street Institute and teaches at Harvard Law School.Email the show at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Lisa Monaco: Dr. Doom

Lisa Monaco: Dr. Doom

2019-05-1500:58:052

Lisa Monaco’s last job in public service was as the Homeland Security Adviser to President Barack Obama – a position that exposed her to some of the most difficult and perplexing issues in the nation, though she has held many fascinating and important jobs in government.A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Chicago School of Law, Lisa worked on the staff of Attorney General Janet Reno, as a federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia, on the Enron Task Force, as the FBI Chief of Staff under Director Bob Mueller, and as the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.Lisa discusses on The Oath the duties and responsibilities of federal prosecutors, the work of the FBI, the qualities of good leaders and the value of good mentors, and the privilege of working in the White House for President Obama. Lisa is a legal analyst for CNN and a professor at the NYU School of Law. Email the show at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Andrew McCabe served as the Deputy Director – and briefly the Acting Director – of the FBI at the end of a fascinating career in federal law enforcement. A graduate of Duke University and the Washington University School of Law, Andrew shares his experience as a new agent at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia and his early work fighting Russian organized crime on the streets of New York City. After 9/11, Andy’s focus – and the focus of the FBI – shifted to counterterrorism.On The Oath, Andrew examines that shift, including how then FBI Director Bob Mueller led the work of the FBI, the difference between “muscling” and “targeting,” and the Bureau’s successful rapport-building approach to interviews. As the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division in 2013, he also describes the FBI’s remarkable hunt to catch the killers responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. Andy is the author of the best-selling book, The Threat. Email the show at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
Preet Bharara: Doing Justice

Preet Bharara: Doing Justice

2019-04-3001:09:041

Preet Bharara served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, a storied office with a reputation for prosecuting some of the biggest and most interesting cases in the country. In that role, Preet led numerous high-profile financial fraud and public corruption investigations. A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School, Preet also worked as an Assistant United States Attorney – a line prosecutor – in that same office. His new book, Doing Justice, is a thoughtful and compelling reflection on his time in the Justice Department, the victims he helped, the agents and prosecutors with whom he worked, and the difficult judgment calls and dilemmas they tackled as they endeavored to do justice. Today he’s the host of “Stay Tuned with Preet,” a weekly podcast featuring interviews with people from the world of law, politics, and journalism. On today’s episode, we discuss the rule of law, public conceptions – and misconceptions – about criminal justice, fascinating cases, and the way that good agents and prosecutors strive to meet their obligations. Email the show at theoathpodcast@gmail.com.
James Comey served as the Director of the FBI (until he was fired by President Trump), the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York – at the very highest levels of the Justice Department. A Yonkers, New York native, James discusses on The Oath his police chief grandfather, being bullied as a child, a harrowing experience as a crime victim, and how those experiences propelled him into a career in federal law enforcement, including as a mob prosecutor in Manhattan. James is the author of the best-selling book, A Higher Loyalty.Thoughtful criticism? Feedback? Questions? Email us at theoathpodcast@gmail.com
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Comments (167)

#Royalebleu

#recommend

Dec 4th
Reply (1)

Tony Boyd

I feel like I am taking a college class on law, human physiology and history. Keep em coming.

Dec 4th
Reply (1)

#Royalebleu

#recommend

Dec 1st
Reply

#Royalebleu

good speaker

Nov 23rd
Reply

Myron McLeod

Driving from Reading, PA to Jacksonville, FL I listened to The Oath podcast the entire drive. Never have I had a more enjoyable drive. I felt guilty that i didnt stop and comment on each cast. When I found about the Oath I knew it would be great and it is 6 ☆'s!! I'm so glad I got to know a little bit about Chuck Rosenberg because he and Frank Figliuzzi gave me hope when I was truly frightened about a Russian asset in the White House supported by Mitch McConnell and Bill Barr. You are one of the real patriots Chuck. Your reactions to these impeachment proceedings continues to make me feel this way.

Nov 21st
Reply

Mary O'Keefe

I love this podcast. this is my first and only one. Please please keep it going.

Nov 18th
Reply

Alan Lambert

I'm currently working my way through all of the episodes of this fantastic interview series and have been impressed with Chuck and every single guest so far. I have a suggestion for a future guest I would be fascinated to hear from after the furor around her fades: Marie Yovonavich. I think she would be terrific in Season 3 or 4.

Nov 17th
Reply

William Casey

J&C; very well done fellas. Read every book on the OBL raid, but still learned something from your Podcast. Case

Nov 16th
Reply

Tina Singh

I'm a civil servant and I really enjoy listening to your guests. I also really appreciate that you allow the guests to speak. You don't cut them off mid sentence like other hosts. I will continue to listen!!!

Nov 13th
Reply (1)

deb

Another great podcast! I'm a big Jeremy Bash fan on MSNBC! Love his passion & knowledge for the law! Great guest Chuck! 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 Have you thought about interviewing Maya Wiley or Mimi Rocah?

Nov 4th
Reply (1)

Bob Cahill

very nice, I appreciate the time and effort

Oct 31st
Reply (1)

Eric Strzechowski

Great to have Canadian content! Love all your podcasts Mr. Rosenberg. Thanks

Oct 26th
Reply

Amparo Silver

Enjoyed Ms Vance's interview and perspectives. I found it educational.

Oct 25th
Reply

Stephen J

Horrible to hear what happened to her in-laws 😢 but Joyce's pregnancy turned out to be a blessing in many ways! Really interesting to hear a prosecutor talk about justice reform, band the box, and knowing it not about how many years one spends in jail.

Oct 25th
Reply (1)

Myron McLeod

Chuck, I love your perspective on well, just about everything. You make my driving so enjoyable as I listen and LEARN. The nation needs your voice and that of many of your friends during these troubled time. You are a true patriot Chuck!

Oct 24th
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shadowette1950

was especially interesting as I live in British Columbia and knew of all the places he spoke of... enjoyed listening!

Oct 24th
Reply (1)

Bobby Paragon

I'm always so surprised by the fine quality of the podcasts. from the OATH.

Oct 22nd
Reply (1)

Deborah Gibson

I love every episode of this podcast. in this time of national embarrassment at the disgraceful lack of integrity in many of our leaders, your podcast gives me hope, because it reminds me that there are many, many wonderful Americans of integrity, dignity, honor, and self-sacrifice who live up to The Oath of office they took. Thank you for restoring my faith in the vast majority of those in government, the military, the investigative services, the law and the courts who fight every day for the values that made/make our nation great. I look forward to this podcast EVERY WEEK for the soul-restoring nourishment it provides!

Oct 17th
Reply (1)

deb

As usual another great 5 star podcast! 👍 Chuck you do a great job preparing for your interviews. It is very noticable! I loved the reference to Admiral Stavridis' wife... can't imagine her & their childrens sacrifices of 9-1/2 years at sea! Thanks Admiral for your service! 🇺🇲 🇺🇲 🇺🇲

Oct 17th
Reply (1)

deb

I am so glad you are back! Another great podcast Chuck! Of course you had a super guest... love Joyce's views, her voice & she's a great addition to our political times! You both are always teaching us! Huge assets to MSNBC!

Oct 17th
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