Congress Intelligence

House Oversight and Judiciary Committees Authorize First Subpoenas

Margaret Taylor
Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 12:49 PM

It's been an eventful week for checks and balances.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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It's been an eventful week for checks and balances.

On Tuesday, April 2, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a markup and voted to authorize subpoenas in connection with two different investigations—first, the White House's handling of security clearances and access to classified information (a subject about which I wrote last week), and second, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) issued four subpoenas yesterday—the first to be issued to executive branch officials in the 116th Congress.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on the Judiciary held a markup and voted to authorize subpoenas to obtain the full Mueller report, plus all underlying materials. Chairman Nadler indicated that he did not intend to issue such subpoenas until such time as the Attorney General refuses to produce to the Judiciary Committee the full record of Mueller’s investigation. In addition, the resolution authorized subpoenas for documents and testimony for former White House Counsel Don McGahn, Steve Bannon, former White House communications Director Hope Hicks, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Chief of Staff to the White House Counsel Ann Donaldson.

The subpoena authorizations, along with video of the markup hearings, are available below.

House Oversight Committee markup of security clearance and census resolutions

House Judiciary Committee markup of Mueller report resolution

House Oversight Committee security clearance subpoena authorization

House Oversight Committee census subpoena authorization

House Judiciary Committee Mueller report subpoena authorization

Margaret L. Taylor was a senior editor and counsel at Lawfare and a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Previously, she was the Democratic Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2015 through July 2018.

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