Speaker Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

Pelosi Statement on Court Rulings on Congressional Oversight

November 25, 2019
Press Release

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in the Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn case that the White House cannot continue its obstruction of Congress, and after the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay on the Mazars case:

“The Courts have been clear: the President’s insistence that he is above the law is an offense to our Constitution and to every American.  Today’s District Court decision in the McGahn case is yet another resounding ruling that the Administration’s claim of ‘absolute immunity’ from Congress’s subpoenas has no basis in the law or our democracy, and must immediately cease.  Again and again, the Courts have reaffirmed the Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people.

“As the Court ruled, ‘It is hard to imagine a more significant wound than such alleged interference with Congress’ ability to detect and deter abuses of power within the Executive branch for the protection of the People of the United States.’  The judge concluded that, ‘Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.’

“In the Mazars case, the Courts have ruled multiple times to reaffirm Congress’s oversight authority, stating, ‘Contrary to the President’s arguments, the Committee possesses authority under both the House Rules and the Constitution to issue the subpoena, and Mazars must comply.’  As the Courts have made clear, there are no special privileges for information unrelated to the President’s official duties, but squarely related to Congress’s need for legislation and oversight.  While the Supreme Court’s grant of a temporary, limited stay is disappointing, that Court has nevertheless imposed on the President a highly expedited schedule so that it can swiftly determine whether to review the lower courts’ decisions to require disclosure of the President’s financial records and recognize congressional oversight to proceed.

“The House will continue to conduct oversight for the people, upholding the separation of powers that is the genius of our Constitution and the cornerstone of our Republic.”