Quantcast
Connect with us

House Democrats have ‘penetrating and far-reaching’ power to investigate Trump — and to make new laws to restrain him

Published

on

House Democrats have the legal authority to see President Donald Trump’s tax returns and the full report from special counsel Robert Mueller — if only they would exercise their power.

Congress has strong investigative powers to root out corruption and mismanagement, even if those actions are being investigated elsewhere, and the Supreme Court has established clear guidelines for exposing misconduct in both the federal government and the private sector, according to former congressman Brad Miller in an essay for The Daily Beast.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The power of the Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process,” the court ruled in Barenblatt v. United States. “It encompasses inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes.”

“The scope of the power of inquiry, in short,” the court ruled in Watkins v. United States, “is as penetrating and far-reaching as the potential power to enact and appropriate under the Constitution.”

Congress conducted hearings on organized crime and union corruption — which were dramatized in the “Godfather” movies — that resulted in significant legislation, including 1970’s Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) that made criminal prosecution of mob bosses much easier.

House Democrats could push legislation requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns, which Trump has refused to do and now is fighting a legal battle against doing, and Congress could make specific adjustments to laws regarding corruption and the emoluments clauses.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lawmakers could also close tax loopholes or increase the budget for tax enforcement, as well as revisiting the independent counsel law, argued Miller, who represented North Carolina from 2003 to 2013.

Trump can rage against the various investigations into his administration and past business, but Miller argued the Supreme Court has been clear on congressional oversight authority.

“When a committee of Congress is engaged in a legitimate legislative inquiry and the questions propounded are relevant and material to the inquiry, the courts will not question the motives of the questioner,” the Supreme Court has ruled.

ADVERTISEMENT

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Where’s Steve?’ Trump notices a right-wing ally missing from CNN — and wants him back on TV

Published

on

President Donald Trump has been asking some of his administration officials why one of his favorite boosters has disappeared from CNN's airwaves.

Steve Cortes, a member of the Trump 2020 advisory board and a paid on-air CNN contributor, has reportedly been banished by the network's executives, and the president doesn't like it, reported The Daily Beast.

“Where’s Steve?” the president has repeatedly asked, according to two officials who overheard him in the White House.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Was Ivanka not available?’ Internet ridicules ‘dweeb’ Sean Spicer’s new gig on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Published

on

On Wednesday, Good Morning America reported that Sean Spicer, former White House Press Secretary to President Donald Trump, will be appearing on "Dancing With the Stars."

This show is not new to giving a lighthearted platform to controversial political figures — it famously hosted former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who now heads up the Department of Energy. Moreover, Spicer — who attracted controversy for lying about Trump's inauguration crowd size and claiming that Hitler never gassed people, has sought credibility as a political veteran, with Harvard's Kennedy School giving him a fellowship.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

How Trump’s limited intellectual development has given him a ‘God complex’

Published

on

Trump's lack of respect for the country's long-standing democratic norms and institutions also extends to America's alliances, security arrangements with its allies and friends, and the international order more broadly. To that end  Trump has threatened to remove the U.S. from NATO, hailed the merits of nationalism (while barely pretending that does not mean white nationalism), tried to surrender U.S. security to Russian President Vladimir Putin and proclaimed on numerous occasions that America will now stand (mostly) alone in the world.

This story first ran at Salon in November of 2018. 

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image