Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Considering exercise of the House's inherent arrest power

My USC tax colleague and friend Ed Kleinbard, along with USC con law professor Sam Erman, argue here - I think entirely persuasively as a matter of law - that the House of Representatives has well-settled inherent power to arrest the likes of Steven Mnuchin and Robert Barr for their lawless defiance of subpoenas, and to forcibly detain them (say, in Capital Hill hotel rooms under guard) until they comply. (The arrestees would be free to try going to court themselves, but they would lose if precedent still means anything.)

I have to admit, I consider it a tough question how this would end up playing out in the public arena, given that these individuals do not seem terribly committed to the rule of law, have armed bodyguards, and would not necessarily agree to go peaceably.

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