Pelosi Statement on House Brief in Congressional Oversight Supreme Court Cases

Feb 26, 2020
Press Release

Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,

Washington, D.C.– Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement as the U.S. House of Representatives filed a brief today with the Supreme Court in the consolidated cases of Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Deutsche Bank, urging the Court to affirm previous court rulings that hold that Congress has the constitutional right to conduct oversight and issue subpoenas on behalf of the American people:

“The Constitution and the Courts agree: Congress clearly has the authority to conduct oversight and consider legislation on behalf of the American people, including by issuing subpoenas.  

“As the House brief states, ‘Contrary to what President Trump and the Solicitor General contend, there is nothing unprecedented about Congressional subpoenas for documents that may shed light on Presidential affairs.  What is unprecedented is the extraordinary breadth of the arguments that President Trump and the Solicitor General make about the supposed power of a President to thwart investigations in furtherance of Congress’s Article I legislative and oversight functions.  Nothing in the text of the Constitution or this Court’s rulings supports the arguments of President Trump or the Solicitor General.’

“As the House brief makes clear, to carry out its constitutional work on behalf of the public, Congress has a rich history of routinely securing information related to Congress’s need for legislation and oversight.  In response to Congressional requests and subpoenas, Presidents, their families, Executive Branch officials, and third parties have provided testimony and documents concerning Presidents’ personal and official actions.  ‘For the Oversight Committee to understand whether existing financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest legislation is adequate to the challenges posed by this President’s unique financial arrangements, it must understand those arrangements.  The Intelligence Committee must make similar inquiries to determine whether the President is subject to foreign financial leverage.  And it is hard to imagine a more thorough and specific demonstration of need than exists for the Financial Services Committee’s investigation.  Given the ocean of independent, investigative reporting connecting President Trump’s entities with possible illicit funding, it would be irresponsible for any Congressional investigation into those subjects not to examine those businesses.’

“The President’s ‘extraordinary’ insistence that he is above the law and that ‘Article II means I can do whatever I want’ – including trample over Congress’s constitutional oversight powers – is a threat to our Constitution, the rule of law and our republic.  When oral argument is held on March 31, the House urges the Court to simply follow the Constitution and years of precedent dating from the earliest days of our nation’s history.”

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