The Lawfare Podcast: What Happens When Congress Investigates Itself?

By Jen Patja Howell
Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 5:01 AM

A crucial component of the story of Jan. 6 involves what members of Congress were doing on that day. What kinds of conversations did Republican lawmakers have with President Trump? To what extent did any members of Congress play a role in engineering the riot itself? These are some of the questions that the House committee on Jan. 6 is investigating—and it’s seeking information directly from members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. So far, McCarthy and the other lawmakers who have received requests from the committee have vowed not to cooperate.

So will the committee subpoena fellow members of the House? What obstacles might it run into if it did? And what does it say that the committee is taking this step? Quinta Jurecic spoke with Mike Stern, a former senior counsel to the House of Representatives, and Lawfare senior editor and Brookings senior fellow Molly Reynolds about the questions of law and norms raised by the latest turns in the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation.