John E. Bies

John E. Bies is Chief Counsel at American Oversight, a non-profit focused on government accountability. He served for eight years in the Obama administration at the Department of Justice, first as Counselor to Attorney General Eric Holder and then spending seven years as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel where he advised White House and executive branch officials on FOIA, Congressional oversight, executive privilege, ethics, separation of powers, and other constitutional, statutory, and administrative law issues. Prior to his service in the government, Bies handled complex civil litigation and investigation and enforcement matters as a partner at Covington & Burling LLP and clerked for Judge Sandra Lynch on the First Circuit. He received his law degree with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School.

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The Ukraine Connection

Giuliani Cannot Rely on Attorney-Client Privilege to Avoid Congressional Testimony

As the House of Representatives launches its impeachment inquiry with a focus on President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine, the question has been raised whether the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, will testify before Congress. According to CNN, Giuliani has said that he would need to consult with Trump before testifying before Congress because of the attorney-client privilege.

Executive Power

If the Attorney General Is Fired, Who Acts as Attorney General?

Although Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reportedly expressed no inclination to resign, President Donald Trump’s evident and quite public “disappointment” over Sessions’s (clearly correct) decision to recuse himself from investigations relating to the 2016 presidential campaign raises the prospect of a potential vacancy in the office of the attorney gen

Executive Privilege

Primer on Executive Privilege and the Executive Branch Approach to Congressional Oversight

Over the past two weeks, the nation has been absorbed by congressional testimony that has brought the issue of executive privilege into the spotlight. Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, answered questions regarding his private conversations with President Donald Trump, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Admiral Michael Rogers each have declined to do so.