Mike Rogers, a former seven-term Republican congressman from Michigan, turned heads last year when he left his perch as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in order to — as it was reported at the time — become a talk radio host.
Rogers’ plans were met with mostly fawning coverage by local news and Beltway media outlets. Rogers “ditched the tumultuous House for a talk radio job,” reported Politico, which later ran a column by Rogers identifying him as simply a former member. NPR ran an “exit interview” with Rogers, reporting only that the former lawmaker planned to return to “a passion of his college days” by working as “a radio talk show host.”
Rogers now records a short, daily commentary for radio syndication company Westwood One, and appears regularly in the media as an expert on national security and intelligence matters. In addition, according to his website, “Mike is a Distinguished Fellow at the prestigious Hudson Institute and serves on the Board of Trustees at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.”
But beyond fulfilling his college-era interest in radio and joining the ranks of D.C. think tanks, Rogers apparently has other gigs. The March 10 edition of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, an online program produced by Stewart Baker, a former NSA general counsel who now works at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, opened a new window into Rogers’ post-congressional career (emphasis added):
BAKER: Mike Rogers, twenty levels of experience … In probably a fit of good judgment he’s left Congress and is now a CNN national security commentator, host of a nationally syndicated radio commentary for Westwood One, doing consulting and some private equity investment, isn’t that right?
ROGERS: I am, yeah, absolutely.
The Intercept reached out to Rogers, Stewart Baker and Carolyn Stewart, Rogers’ media contact at the Hudson Institute, for more information about Rogers’ unacknowledged new career. “I think the congressman should answer your questions,” replied Baker via email. Asked which private equity firm Rogers works for, Stewart said, “I don’t remember.” Rogers himself has not responded.
In Congress, Rogers led efforts to pass broad new legislation to expand government and private sector surveillance. He also maintained friendly ties to the business and K Street community — relationships that may have influenced his quiet move through the revolving door.
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