Just Security: How Impeachment Proceedings Would Strengthen Congress’s Investigatory Powers

In a new article from Just Security, Michael Stern explores how impeachment proceedings would strengthen Congress’s investigatory powers and address the continued defiance of subpoenas, requests for information, and more by the Trump administration. Stern explores the depth of information the House could receive via an impeachment inquiry including that such an inquiry offers the power to gather information in foreign countries; establishes with greater certainty the Congressional need for evidence; provides the House with evidence claimed to be protected by executive privilege; allows the House to access grand jury information; and more.

As Stern notes:

While it is true that the House has substantial powers of inquiry apart from impeachment, there is little doubt that initiating impeachment proceedings would strengthen its investigatory position considerably.

At a nuts and bolts level, a resolution establishing an impeachment inquiry enables the House to bestow on the Judiciary Committee special authorities for purposes of its investigation.

More importantly, an impeachment inquiry establishes with greater certainty the congressional need for evidence that bears upon the conduct of the office holder in question and any high crimes and misdemeanors he may have committed.

In short, initiating a formal impeachment proceeding, though not a silver bullet, would significantly enhance the House’s ability to gather relevant information in a timely fashion. Claims that oversight hearings are equally powerful are just wishful thinking.

Click here to read the full article from Just Security.

 

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