A plea for restraint from Congress
The powers of legislative inquiry are broad but should not be misused
The Supreme Court essentially held that every state prosecutor has more investigative authority over a president than a chamber of Congress in a recent ruling. I believe it is wrong to impose extra burdens on Congress, even as I agree that these were political investigations. Indeed, we must never forget that the Constitution authorizes the federal government to exercise powers that can be abused. That the House abused its power of inquiry does not mean it lacked authority to demand financial records of President Trump. Not all abuses of power are unconstitutional.
In Donald Trump versus Cyrus Vance, the Supreme Court did not impose any meaningful restraints on the investigation in New York. The Supreme Court declared that state prosecutors may not use subpoenas to harass a president, act out of malice, or attempt to influence or impede executive actions. But these restraints will likely prove illusory. But in Donald Trump versus Mazars, the Supreme Court did impose a stricter standard for the investigations by Congress of current presidents, listing a range of vague factors for lower courts to consider as they decide whether custodians of his records have to satisfy various subpoenas from the House.
What happens next? Bet on further litigation extending these twin dramas beyond the election.