Rogers, 47, who is remarried with two teenagers, is an anti-abortion, down-the-line conservative from a solid Republican district in southern Michigan. As intelligence committee chairman, he can be expected to challenge the Obama administration aggressively over what he views as a law enforcement approach to terrorism. For example, he ripped the decision by federal authorities to read Miranda warnings to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a plane over Detroit last Christmas Day with a bomb sewn into his underwear. The priority should have been intelligence gathering, Rogers said, especially given the other evidence against Abdulmutallab.
Rogers also has blasted Obama's decision to restrict CIA questioning of detainees to the strictures of the U.S. Army Field Manual, which he argues are more restrictive than the rules governing FBI agents when questioning criminal suspects.
And he made news when he said the death penalty should apply to Bradley Manning, accused of being the source of classified U.S. documents posted by WikiLeaks.
But Rogers has a knack for disagreeing without being disagreeable, a trait that has engendered warm feelings among at least some Democrats. CIA Director Leon Panetta, for example, said in a statement that Rogers "is one of Congress' foremost experts on intelligence and the fight against terrorism," and that "I have come to know him and respect his insights."
Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Republican who traveled with Rogers while he served on the intelligence committee, said Rogers is well-liked "because he's very personable. He's tough as nails, but he can do it with a way that's not offensive."
Rogers poked and prodded behind the scenes — and finally made a personal appeal to Bush — to force the U.S. military to better secure unguarded Iraq weapons and ammunition storage sites after the 2003 invasion, sites that were fodder for the burgeoning insurgency.
A 1985 graduate of Adrian College in Michigan, Rogers served three years in the Army and then joined the FBI, where he worked until he ran and won a state Senate seat in 1994. He served as Michigan Senate majority Leader from 1999 to 2000 and was elected to Congress that fall.
On the walls of his Capitol Hill office, Rogers displays a tomahawk made of metal from a Soviet tank given to him by Afghans, and a long knife given to him by Pakistanis.
There is also a framed Chicago newspaper front page about the biggest chapter of his FBI career. Rogers built the case that mushroomed into a massive public corruption prosecution in Cicero, Ill., just outside Chicago. The town that once hosted Al Capone's gang was still, in the late 1980s, infiltrated by the mob. Betty Loren-Maltese, the town president, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2002 after she and six others were convicted of stealing $12 million from the town.
It started with a telephone tip about a missing woman, Rogers said, which led him to set up surveillance on a Cicero strip club that fronted for a brothel. The place was under the protection of corrupt Cicero police officers, Rogers soon realized.
"I thought it was a few bad cops," he said. It turned out to be a well-orchestrated conspiracy.
His biggest break came when he went to the hospital to see a woman who had been stabbed in the club, he said. She had previously refused to talk. But on this day, a mobster had just turned down her request to pay her medical expenses.
"She was upset," Rogers said. "She asked, 'Well, would you pay for my hospital bill?' I said, 'Yeah, sure,' Then I said to myself, 'Oh, my God, I hope the Bureau will pay for this.' "
Rogers showed her pictures, and she identified mob figures and police who frequented the club.
"That's what really started the Cicero case," Rogers said.
Rogers had a similar break in his effort to convince Boehner and other House leaders to press the Bush administration to expand drone strikes, according to some who were there.
One day in 2008, Rogers, Hoekstra and Boehner attended a meeting in the Capitol with a group of CIA officials. Some of the senior CIA officials expressed opposition to expanding drone strikes, say two of them who were there, and some argued that Rogers was overstating the targeting capabilities.
A junior CIA officer spoke up and acknowledged that there were targeting "packages" against militants in Pakistan that were viable but had not been used.
"The front-row guys, they didn't have a clue what to say," one meeting attendee said.
Not long afterward, then-CIA Director Michael Hayden briefed Bush on a series of more aggressive covert options in Pakistan, including drone strikes that went after Taliban networks, in addition to high-value al Qaeda targets.