The administration’s floundering response to the pandemic, along with its efforts to limit oversight through existing mechanisms, provides ample evidence of the need for a congressional probe.
Latest in congressional oversight
Oral Arguments in the D.C. Circuit En Banc Consideration of Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn and U.S. House of Representatives v. Mnuchin
Judges were skeptical of the Department of Justice’s sweeping arguments but searched for limiting principles on court cases brought by Congress.
On March 10, the House Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee heard testimony from state health officials and private experts on states’ readiness for and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a combative hearing, top federal health officials discussed existing efforts to constrain the coronavirus and warned Americans that extensive measures will be required to prevent further spread.
On Feb. 26, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation held a hearing in which lawmakers questioned officials responsible for the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak.
On Feb. 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed the House Judiciary Committee's lawsuit to compel the testimony of former White House Counsel Don McGahn. Writing on behalf of the court, Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote, "The Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of McGahn, responds that Article III of the Constitution forbids federal courts from resolving this kind of interbranch information dispute. We agree and dismiss this case." The opinion is available here and below.
The House of Representatives has filed its brief before the Supreme Court in the consolidated cases Donald J. Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, et al and Donald J. Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG, et al, regarding whether the court should invalidate four subpoenas to the companies from three separate House committees regarding President Trump's financial and business reports. The committees ask the court to affirm the lower courts' judgments that the House can issue the subpoenas, and argue that, "Many momentous separation-of-powers disputes have come before this Court . . .
In testimony before the House, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction offered a sobering portrait of the challenges confronting U.S. reconstruction efforts, and called for more vigorous and proactive congressional oversight of those efforts.
On Nov. 15, Donald J. Trump applied to the Supreme Court for a stay of the House Oversight Committee subpoena of his tax returns. The application for a stay as well as a response from Congress and a reply from Trump are attached below.
In the aftermath of the successful operation against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the fact that the Trump administration gave advance notice to the Russian government and possibly also to some Republican lawmakers—but not to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff or other Democratic lawmakers—is attracting criticism. Is the criticism warranted? Not from a legal perspective. But it’s complicated from there.