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Archive of posts filed under the Privilege Assertions Before Congress category.

Why Wouldn’t Congress Give Pagliano Immunity?

Bryan Pagliano, a former State Department staffer who helped to set up Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, has informed several congressional committees, including the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the Senate Judiciary Committee, that he will invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination if forced to appear before those committees to answer questions about [...]

The U.S. Attorney’s Troubling Decision in the Lois Lerner Case

Here is a link to US Attorney Ronald Machen’s letter to Speaker Boehner declining to submit the Lois Lerner contempt to the grand jury. Machen makes three points in this letter. First, he rejects the argument that the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform failed to follow proper procedures in notifying Lerner that her Fifth Amendment [...]

House Counsel on the Lerner Contempt

The House Counsel has issued this memorandum addressing the argument that Lois Lerner cannot be held in contempt because the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform failed to follow the proper procedures in overruling her objections. The memo provides additional factual detail regarding the committee’s actions and communications with Lerner and her counsel. House Counsel [...]

Can Lois Lerner Skate on a Technicality?

Updated: Mort Rosenberg’s response follows On a snowy day, what could be better than snuggling up with some 1950s Supreme Court cases and getting deep into the technicalities of congressional contempt procedure? If your answer is “just about anything,” you would not have enjoyed John Filamor’s going-away party. As it happens, I had a reason [...]

But Other Than That, the CIA Has Been Very Cooperative With SSCI’s Investigation

Senator Feinstein’s bill of particulars against the CIA, set forth in her speech this morning: Between 2002 and 2006, the CIA failed to brief the Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, other than the Chairman and Vice Chairman, regarding its detention and interrogation program. In 2007 the CIA destroyed videotapes, over the objections [...]

Further Reflections on the Deliberative Process Privilege in the Fast and Furious Investigation

Following up on my last post, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform advances several grounds for rejecting the Justice Department’s assertion of deliberative process privilege. The broadest argument is that deliberative process is a common law, not a constitutional, privilege and therefore must give way to Congress’s constitutional power of oversight. As COGR [...]

The Fast and Furious Litigation: High Stakes for Congressional Oversight?

In its recently-filed motion for summary judgment before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asks the court to reject the Attorney General’s claims of deliberative process privilege and to order the Justice Department to turn over documents responsive to a committee subpoena in the Fast and Furious investigation. COGR [...]

More on Fast and Furious

As mentioned last month, a federal district court has denied Attorney General Holder’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit, brought by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in which the committee seeks to enforce a subpoena for Justice Department documents related to the “Fast and Furious” investigation. The motion to dismiss advanced a number [...]

Judge Jackson’s “Fast” and Furious Decision

Though it might seem like a distant memory (what with everything else going on), the House’s civil contempt lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder still percolates in the courts. The House is investigating “Fast and Furious,” but the resulting litigation is more like “Slow and Cranky.” On September 30, Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a [...]

Lois Lerner and Waiver of Fifth Amendment Privilege

Everybody is talking about whether Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment privilege by making an exculpatory opening statement at yesterday’s hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (eg, these posts at Hot Air and the Volokh Conspiracy). As Juliet Eilperin notes, “[l]ike a lot of legal questions, it depends on whom you [...]