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House Committees’ Authority to Investigate for Impeachment

Date of Issuance:

The House of Representatives must expressly authorize a committee to conduct an impeachment investigation and to use compulsory process in that investigation before the committee may compel the production of documents or testimony in support of the House’s power of impeachment.

The House had not authorized an impeachment investigation in connection with impeachment-related subpoenas issued by House committees before October 31, 2019, and the subpoenas therefore had no compulsory effect.

The House’s adoption of Resolution 660 on October 31, 2019, did not alter the legal status of those subpoenas, because the resolution did not ratify or otherwise address their terms.

Updated January 20, 2020