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Archive of entries posted on June 2012

The Public Debt Clause and the Coming Debt Limit Crisis

Amidst all the legal excitement this week, you may have missed BNA White House Reporter Cheryl Bolen’s article on Section 4 of the 14th Amendment (AKA, the Public Debt Clause) and the possibility of another debt ceiling crisis. The article (“Obama Could Face Sophie’s Choice as Country Approaches Debt Limit”) begins: “As the nation again [...]

That Didn’t Take Long

Even before the Speaker had certified the contempt, this letter arrived from Deputy Attorney General James Cole informing him that “the Department has determined that the Attorney General’s response to the subpoena issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform does not constitute a crime, and therefore the Department will not bring the congressional [...]

The Holder Contempt- Civil Enforcement Edition

The House is scheduled to vote today on holding the Attorney General in contempt for his failure to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking documents in the Fast and Furious investigation. Since my last post on this subject, the House leadership has decided in addition to voting on the resolution to certify the contempt to the [...]

The Holder Contempt- A Procedural Primer

As you may have heard, President Obama has asserted executive privilege with regard to Department of Justice documents sought by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as part of its investigation of the “Fast and Furious” program, and COGR has voted to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt for failing to produce them. [...]

“We Refer a Lot of Things that Don’t Get Prosecuted”

So noted former congressman Tom Davis after Roger Clemens was acquitted on all charges stemming from his congressional testimony regarding alleged steroid use. Davis was explaining to the Washington Post why he did not believe the Justice Department was obligated to prosecute Clemens even though he and Representative Henry Waxman (respectively the ranking member and [...]

Laufman on Leaks

Pertinent to my last post, white collar defense attorney (and my former Hill colleague) David Laufman has published this article for the Huffington Post on “Prosecuting Leaks of Classified Information.” It provides an excellent overview of the laws governing national security leaks, and the challenges and risks involved in prosecuting leakers. Tweet

Why Doesn’t Congress Investigate National Security Leaks by the Executive Branch?

Stop laughing, I’m serious. If Senator Feinstein and Representative Rogers, the chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees respectively, want to get to the bottom of recent leaks of highly classified information from the executive branch, why don’t they conduct the investigation themselves? Hear me out. The knee-jerk reaction to such issues is to [...]

Seeking Section Four Transparency

As the national debt rises rapidly toward the latest “ceiling”, Professor Epps once again proposes (“A Gun to the Debt-Ceiling Fight”) the President invoke (or threaten to invoke) Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment to avoid all that unpleasantness from last time. Needless to say, I don’t think any more of the legal merits of [...]