Episode 22,


Jeff Shesol, Larry Thompson & Peter Edelman


Former FBI director James Comey was asked for a loyalty pledge. The loyalty episode explores what past presidents have asked of their political appointees.

James Comey says that President Trump asked for a loyalty pledge…and his unwillingness to agree was the beginning of the end of his job as Director of the FBI. In the next Truth, Politics and Power, Host Neal Conan talks about the loyalty past presidents have asked of their political appointees. Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, on the line between loyalty and public service, former Assistant Secretary Peter Edelman, on how and why he chose to resign, and analysis, of when members of congress start to abandon a president of their own political party.


Jeff Shesol was a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and was the creator of Thatch, a nationally syndicated comic strip that first ran in the Brown University student newspaper. Shesol is a founding partner of West Wing Writers, and the author of several books, including Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs The Supreme Court.



Larry Thompson served as Deputy Attorney General in the George W. Bush administration. He’s held several other government positions. He currently serves as Counsel at the Atlanta based law firm of Finch McCranie and is  John A. Sibley Professor of Corporate and Business Law at the University of Georgia School of Law.




Peter Edelman was an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration. In 1996 he resigned because he opposed a welfare reform bill signed by President Clinton, with whom he’s had a long friendship. Edelman has a long record of public service and is a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he also serves as Faculty Director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality.