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Attempted Exclusion of Agency Counsel from Congressional Depositions of Agency Employees

Date of Issuance:

Congress may not constitutionally prohibit agency counsel from accompanying agency employees called to testify about matters that potentially involve information protected by executive privilege. Such a prohibition would impair the President’s constitutional authority to control the disclosure of privileged information and to supervise the Executive Branch’s communications with Congress.

Congressional subpoenas that purport to require agency employees to appear without agency counsel are legally invalid and are not subject to civil or criminal enforcement.

Updated November 4, 2019