We all know that there are certain confidential and intimate relationships that the law deems worthy of special protection. These include the clerical privilege (also known as priest-penitent), the attorney-client privilege, the doctor-patient privilege and of course the spousal privilege. The House of Representatives would like to expand that list to include the legislator-lobbyist relationship, which involves the kind of “pillow talk” that DC considers most precious.
OK, I exaggerate, but not by that much. In its opposition to the SEC subpoena enforcement action, the House argues all the information sought by the SEC, including information about conversations between members or staff of the Ways & Means Committee and private lobbyists, is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause. See House Brief at 30, 34-37.