About POGO

Justin Rood

Director of Congressional Oversight Initiative

justinrood@pogo.org |

Year Started at POGO: 2014

Areas of Expertise: Congressional Oversight, Homeland Security, Intelligence

Justin Rood directs POGO's Congressional Oversight Initiative. The Initiative aims to improve and enhance Congress's ability to do effective oversight by providing information, advice, and other assistance.

Previously, Rood served under Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) on his Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as director of investigations on Homeland Security matters.

Prior to that, he worked under Senator Coburn as senior investigator on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Minority Staff. There he led a 2012 investigation into domestic intelligence fusion centers, finding them "pools of ineptitude, waste, and civil liberties intrusions," in the words of The Washington Post's front-page coverage of the report.

Before joining Senator Coburn’s staff, Rood was an award-winning investigative producer and reporter with ABC News and other outlets. At ABC, Rood helped uncover the D.C. Madam scandal, which led to a number of resignations including that of Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias. In 2006, while at Talking Points Memo, Rood was part of a two-person reporting/blogging team that broke the story about the Bush administration dismissing seven U.S. Attorneys during a midterm purge. The story earned Talking Points Memo a Polk Award.

Rood is a 2015 non-resident fellow with the Yale Law School's Information Society Project.

A native Washingtonian, Rood is also co-founder of the Funk Parade, a celebration of local music, arts, and culture that brings the diverse communities of the city together.

Justice Department Threatens Investigation of Investigation (of Investigation)

June 13, 2018

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly threatened to ask the House of Representatives’ top lawyers to investigate the House Intelligence Committee. It’s a confusing idea. Here’s why.

The Depressing Heroism of a Bipartisan Congressional Inquiry

March 13, 2018

A bipartisan letter from two Senators to the White House last month deserves greater attention—and praise. While it can seem that Congressional oversight is doomed to fail in this era of hyperpartisanship, the duo’s joint questions regarding clearance processes shows it only takes a little willingness and cooperation from both sides to ask the important questions and turn things around.

White House Silence to Lawmakers' Requests Raises Eyebrows, Questions

June 2, 2017

Trump reportedly told his agencies to ignore questions from Congressional Democrats. But is he any different from his predecessors?

Chairman Nunes Violated Basic Principles of Oversight, House Leadership Must Act

March 29, 2017

The Project On Government Oversight calls on House Speaker Paul Ryan to demonstrate the leadership’s commitment to preserving the separation of powers that provide the checks and balances required by the Constitution. The basic principles of Congressional oversight are being forgotten as Congress is struggling to obtain answers about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and the possibility of coordination or collusion with the Trump campaign.

June 6, 2017

The Levin Legacy: Next-Gen Congressional Oversight

Roll Call | By Niels Lesniewski

June 5, 2017

Democratic Lawmakers Protest Trump Telling Agencies to Ignore Their Requests

Government Executive | By Charles S. Clark

February 13, 2015

Changing of the Guard on Oversight Panels

Roll Call via Congressional Quarterly | By Tim Sparks