Judge rules Adam Schiff's impeachment subpoena records can stay secret
Added 08-03-20 12:23:02pm EST - “A district court ruled the still-secret subpoenas issued for a host of call records made public by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff during last year's impeachment investigation of President Trump can remain concealed…” - Washingtonexaminer.com
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A district court ruled the still-secret subpoenas issued for a host of call records made public by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff during last year’s impeachment investigation of President Trump can remain concealed from the public.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, filed a lawsuit in December against Schiff and his committee seeking access to “the controversial subpoenas issued for phone records,” including those of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Judicial Watch pointed out that Schiff’s impeachment report included “the publication of the private phone records of Giuliani, Congressman Devin Nunes, journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, and other American citizens.”
But last week, Chief Judge Beryl Howell of U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia ruled that Judicial Watch “has no right to demand disclosure of the requested subpoenas and responses thereto issued by HPSIC in connection with the impeachment inquiry of the President, and the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution provides immunity from suit to defendants.”
“Absolutely no allegation is made — and no evidence suggests — that HPSCI or its chairman acted ultra vires or in a manner contrary to the U.S. Constitution or a statute in issuing the subpoenas at issue, or receiving the responses thereto, in connection with the impeachment inquiry,” the judge ruled. “Here, the requested subpoenas were issued as part of HPSCI’s investigative effort and such issuance, though undeniably a form of Committee action, was so preliminary to any final recommendation that this action lacks the legal significance to constitute a ‘public record.’”
In response, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the court ruled “that Schiff, or any member of Congress can’t be held accountable for this unprecedented and potentially criminal abuse of power. Every American should be concerned about a ruling that suggests Congress has unlimited power to take and publish their private phone records!” The conservative group is considering an appeal.
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