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Congressional Investigations

You just received notice of a congressional investigation. A congressional committee wants to ask you questions and wants you to produce documents.

Being the target of a congressional investigation is a serious matter. Everything you have is jeopardized – your business, your livelihood, and your reputation.

If you or your company are being subjected to a congressional investigation, you need an experienced, specialized defense team of attorneys fighting on your side immediately.

Oberheiden, P.C. has an extensive background in pushing back against intrusive congressional inquiries. Our leading attorneys at Oberheiden P.C. know how to navigate the political waters of Congress to ensure that your rights are upheld. We will fight to protect your reputation and goodwill from being a casualty of the congressional inquiry.

Contact the law office of Oberheiden P.C. today to preserve your business and livelihood.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior Trial Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice

Local Counsel

Joanne Fine DeLena
Joanne Fine DeLena

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney & Former District Attorney

Local Trial & Defense Counsel

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former Federal Prosecutor

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (OIG)

Michael Koslow
Michael Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Chris Quick
Chris Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Kevin M. Sheridan
Kevin M. Sheridan

Former Special Agent (FBI)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Dennis A. Wichern
Dennis A. Wichern

Former Special Agent-in-Charge (DEA)

Background of Congressional Investigations

Congressional investigations are hearings held by a committee or subcommittee of either chamber of Congress. The United States Constitution does not expressly grant Congress this power to conduct investigations. Rather, the power is implied from Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution. It states:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

The power to conduct such investigations is inferred from the words “all legislative powers.”

Usually, congressional investigations are initiated for one of the following three reasons:

  1. Congress wants to evaluate and discuss pending legislation
  2. Congress wants to discuss various topics that may require legislation in the future
  3. Congress needs to examine and supervise federal programs

Receiving a congressional subpoena can be troublesome. Your liberties are yours. You need a skilled attorney to safeguard them from an intrusive inquiry.

The Scope of a Congressional Investigation

Congressional investigations do not have a fixed time limit. They can last a few months to a couple years. Having this investigation looming over your head can burden your business operations and hinder its growth.

Further, Congress’s investigative powers is broad and encompasses all aspects of its legislative power. These convened committees or subcommittees can investigate a range of industries – from finance to foreign affairs and technology to political corruption.

But the power is not absolute. There are limits on what Congress can investigate. Congress can only investigate into areas where its power extends. It cannot invade the powers of the other two branches of government – the executive branch or the judicial branch. This would be a violation of the separation of powers – a bedrock of the United States federal government.

Further, Congress cannot infringe on the rights of private individuals. The Supreme Court has held that while the power to conduct congressional investigations is a broad one, it is subject to its own constraints. Congress cannot investigate one’s private affairs if such investigation is not related to “a valid legislative purpose.”

Our senior attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. can easily decipher when Congress oversteps its authority. We can advise you of all your options so you can make an informed decision. This can include cooperation or fighting the investigation.

Remember, you don’t have to answer everything. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right against self-incrimination. You have the right to remain silent. Congress cannot compel you to give information that could subject you to a criminal investigation.

Lastly, congressional investigations are laced in politics and bureaucracy. Every committee has different rules regarding how the investigation is conducted. And the decision to initiate the investigations is heavily dependent on which party has the majority.

Moreover, congressional hearings are very complicated proceedings. You need a leading team of attorneys and consultants on your side. Oberheiden P.C. has years of knowledge in defending clients before Congress’ different committees and can advise you of your rights and options.

Repercussions of a Congressional Inquiry

You may have watched congressional inquiries on television or followed it in the newspapers. You read about how a congressional committee is launching its investigation and its reasoning, but how does it end?

It is imperative to know that a congressional investigation cannot culminate with Congress bringing criminal charges against you. Congress does not have the power to file criminal charges against an individual. Bringing federal criminal charges against an individual is a power that remains soley with the Department of Justice.

Congress’s only power in this scenario would be to refer your case to the DOJ. The DOJ has no obligation to proceed with the congressional committee’s recommendation of initiating criminal charges. It may or may not take up your case.

Congress can, however, vote to hold you in contempt. This can be on a criminal or civil charge. This would incur if you refused to testify or tried to obstruct the investigation.

Implications of Congressional Investigations

At Oberheiden, P.C. we will take the burden off your shoulders. Through countless encounters with congressional investigations, we have developed a solid background and robust understandings of the intricacies of Congress. Our specialist attorneys are well-versed in both the law and congressional rules of operation.

Further, if you or your company are being investigated or part of some broad industry investigation, you can easily find yourself on the front page of the newspaper. This kind of publicity will scar both you and your company’s reputation and goodwill. At Oberheiden P.C., we have a vast variety of resources at our disposal to contain the negative effects of a congressional inquiry.

Contact Oberheiden, P.C. Now!

Finding out you or your company are the target of a congressional inquiry is devastating. You’ll probably feel your world crashing down as everything you worked so hard to build is hanging by a thread.

At Oberheiden P.C., we are your advocates. We will guide you on the process and advise you of your rights. We will protect your rights from the investigative process. From step one, our elite team of attorneys and consultants will fight ruthlessly to protect you, your business, your livelihood, and your reputation.

Contact our office for a free consultation. Don’t delay. We can help!

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