Is the “Deep State” Real? David Rohde on Accountability in Intelligence Agencies

June 5, 2020

American intelligence and law enforcement agencies face a legitimacy crisis. President Trump and his allies accuse an unelected “deep state” of undercutting his administration, while his opponents allege that those very officials have facilitated presidential abuses of power.

Similar concerns have roiled the United States ever since the Church Committee convened nearly half a century ago. Exposing abuses at the FBI and CIA, it pressed reforms to hold them to the rule of law and democratic oversight. In his new book, “In Deep: The FBI, the CIA, and the ‘Truth about America’s ‘Deep State,”’ ( Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Rohde investigates whether, in the decades since, those agencies and the politicians charged with overseeing them have protected the public or abused their power, and asks whether democratic accountability and political neutrality are possible. He is joined by Brennan Center Fellow Michael German, a former FBI special agent and an advocate of intelligence reform.


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