Professor Jed Shugerman was quoted in Al Jazeera in an article discussing the predicted actions of both House Republicans and House Democrats in the wake of Robert Mueller’s testimony to the US House of Representatives.
Republicans say the investigation started because of false information and unwarranted spying by the FBI on people involved in Trump’s campaign committee. Attorney General William Barr has opened an internal investigation at the Justice Department into how the FBI began its inquiry into Trump and Russia. And the department’s Office of Inspector General, an internal watchdog, is preparing a report on whether rules were broken.
House committees’ plan to call former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, among more than a dozen others. Each one of them could devolve into a court fight and it is not clear how judges, as referees between two co-equal branches of government, will resolve the disputes
“Unfortunately, up until now, House Democrats have used a bad legal strategy of avoiding using the phrase ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’ in their litigation,” Jed Shugerman, a professor of law at Fordham University School of Law in New York, told reporters on a conference call.
“It is a significant risk that courts will reject these subpoenas given the balance of executive privilege or the attorney-client privilege or other kinds of prudential concerns,” Shugarman said. “They can be portrayed as a partisan litigation move when the House refuses” to open an impeachment inquiry.