• Show Notes
  • Transcript

On this special episode of the United Security podcast, Ken Wainstein talks with Courtney Elwood, the General Counsel of the CIA for nearly the entirety of the Trump administration. 

They discuss Elwood’s formative years and her career in government, from her time clerking for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, to her service in the George W. Bush administration, to the unique dynamics of being the top lawyer at an agency focused on covert action. 

This podcast is produced by CAFE Studios. 

Tamara Sepper – Executive Producer; Adam Waller – Senior Editorial Producer; Nat Weiner — Audio Producer; David Kurlander — Editorial Producer, Sam Ozer-Staton — Editorial Producer

What does it take to be the top lawyer of the CIA? 

Former General Counsel of the CIA Courtney Elwood reflects on the state of American intelligence 

Up until two weeks ago, Courtney Elwood was the General Counsel of the CIA. In her first interview since leaving government service, Elwood talks with her friend Ken Wainstein about the lessons she learned from her post and about the biggest challenges that the CIA faces over the coming years. 

Elwood also talks about her time in the George W. Bush administration, during which she worked closely with both President Bush and Vice President Cheney in the tense period following 9/11. Elwood and Ken’s candid conversation provides a new perspective on the legal and ideological debates of the Bush years. Their reflections on the balance between security and privacy are a powerful addition to the chronicle of our collective recent political history.