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Thinking a little today about Congress's powers related to subpoenas, which date back to materials requests in 1792, Warren in 1957 “The power of the Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process." Here's a good overview: law.justia.com/constitution/u…
Odd to me that some right now question this, so let's begin with the Constitution: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 1
So from that we get Congress's power to conduct investigations, including "under" "penalty" (i.e. subpoena) requests for evidence, testimony...Thanks @Susan_Hennessey @lawfareblog "The Rules of Congressional Investigations & Trump’s Growing Russia Problem" lawfareblog.com/rules-congress…
Here's the House of Representatives' own history of investigations & powers inherent to do so: history.house.gov/Institution/Or…
Also a great brief explainer on Congressional subpoenas & more via @Reuters: "How powerful are Congress subpoenas, contempt citations?" reut.rs/2GYDEM9
@Reuters Note: first 1789-91, esp. 1792; House has compelled attendance of witnesses since 1795 (when it investigated an attempt to bribe Members, see house.gov); subpoena power for routine legislative matters evolved after1827 authorization to “send for persons and papers.”
Key turning point vis-a-vis the present, in 1792 the House "authorized a special committee to investigate the military defeat of General Arthur St. Clair. This was the first time the House investigated an official under the President’s direct supervision."history.house.gov/Institution/Or…
For a very readable account of the 1792 Congressional investigations, drawing some comparisons to the present, see: "Target of the first congressional probe in U.S. history? George Washington, of course." washingtonpost.com/history/2019/0…
For those who seem confused, relevant House committees have domain over own areas of inquiry & CAN issue subpoenas that are binding (sticking points: 1. executive privilege; 2. enforcement). Investigation is fine as long as it might lead to legislation or to ...
congressional exercise of a valid constitutional function, thus Congress has constitutional power to investigate. It does not require formal impeachment vote up front to do so (though that can the result). Investigating foreign policy, diplomacy, election meddling, sanctions fit.
Here is a fantastic analysis of just how complicated non-compliance & enforcement are on these issues: Congressional Research Service, "Congress’s Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure" fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R…
For some benchmarking, here's the #Watergate investigations timeline 1972-1974: The complete Watergate timeline (it took longer than you realize) pbs.org/newshour/polit…
And how about Clinton: academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnso…
Not sure I buy it but, on House investigations & Senate trial timing see @TIME's historical-comparative analysis, noting it may go to late March 2020, leaving roughly 225 days until the general election "How long could the Trump impeachment process last?" bit.ly/2oQ6ibw?utm_so…
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