CRS Report: Legislative Purpose and Adviser Immunity in Congressional Investigations

Excerpt from the introduction to Legislative Purpose and Adviser Immunity in Congressional Investigations (LSB10301, May 24, 2019):

The Trump Administration has recently questioned the legal validity of numerous investigative demands made by House committees. These objections have been based on various grounds, but two specific arguments will be addressed in this Sidebar:

  1. The President and other Administration officials have contended that certain committee demands lack a valid “legislative purpose” and therefore do not fall within Congress’s investigative authority.
  2. The President has made a more generalized claim that his advisers cannot be made to testify before Congress, even in the face of a committee subpoena. This position, based upon the executive branch’s longstanding conception of immunity for presidential advisers from compelled congressional testimony regarding their official duties.

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