So, far from being defenseless against the president's refusal to prosecute or the threat of presidential pardon, Congress could take into its own custody defiant administration officials who refuse to cooperate with legitimate inquiries into executive malfeasance. Those targets would have the right to seek writs of habeas corpus from the federal courts, but as long as Congress could show a legitimate need for the information it was seeking pursuant to its legislative oversight functions, it would be standing on solid legal ground.Prof. Askin is director of the Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic.
Time to show some mettle, Senator Reid & Leahy, Congressmen Conyers and Sanchez. Don't let them derail the process. Restore the legislative branch to co-equal status and use the inherent contempt power.