Historically, Congress has been recognized as the primary determinant of its own institutional rights and prerogatives, particularly for matters directly or indirectly related to oversight. Since the 1870s, with the explicit agreement of the Department of Justice, all requests for the Department of Justice to subpoenas to members or contractors must first be processed and verified by the officers and counsel of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In 2006, the Department of Justice decided to circumvent this first verification process with a search warrant executed in a member`s office. FBI agents barred house counsel and the member`s private lawyer from monitoring the search. The D.C Circuit Court of Appeals found the search to be a violation of the word or debate clause of the Constitution. The Tribunal stressed that one of the critical objectives of the clause is to prevent interference in the legislative process. This is exactly what the executive`s search procedures did by “denying the congressman any opportunity to identify or assert the privilege in matters of legislative material before being compelled to pass it on to executive agents.” 90 This recognition of the preventive scope of executive agreements was part of the movement to amend the Constitution in the 1950s to limit the president`s powers in this area, but this movement failed.496 The fact that presidential claims are often unsuccessful does not mean that the DOJ`s political arguments in certain situations should not be immediately rejected. An overview of the historical record of congressional investigations and the experience of DOJ investigations shows that committees have normally been limited by prudential considerations. Members of Congress generally reflect on the legislative needs, public order, and legal oversight obligations of congressional committees against potential charges and damages that may be imposed on the Authority when deliberative procedural matters are made public. Where a jurisdiction committee does not reasonably believe that the government has committed a fault, a committee is generally of considerable importance to the sensitive concerns of law enforcement authorities regarding the internal deliberations of an authority.
However, the oft-repeated claim that the department never gave Congress access to open or closed litigation or other “sensitive” internal consultation matters is simply inaccurate. In appropriate circumstances, the committees fully and correctly exercised their well-established oversight power of Congress. In the end, the appeal was dismissed, all the requested documents were made available to the subcommittees and the citation of contempt was dropped. However, a number of questions remain about the role of the Ministry of Justice during the controversy: whether the DOJ, not the EPO, had made the decision to convince the President to assert executive privilege; whether the department had ordered the U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia not to submit the contempt citation to the grand jury and had made the decision to prosecute the House of Representatives; and in general, if there was a conflict of interest, if the department advised the president at the same time, represented Burford, investigated alleged executive misconduct, and did not impose congressional non-compliance legislation. These and other related issues raised by the DOJ`s actions were investigated by the House Justice Committee in early 1983. .