• Cocktails,  Congressional Investigations,  Music

    Impeachment Cocktails, Mob Movies, Crime Music

    In the midst of impeachment investigations, it is often best to turn to cocktails and music. Here are three leading cocktails for Democrats and Republicans, all from the folks at Liquor.com: the Corpse Reviver No. 2, the Porter’s Old Fashioned, and the Improved Dunlop. An updated White Collar Wire playlist is out on Spotify. Note the new contributions from Gucci Mane (“Richer Than Errybody”), Gallant (“Sweet Insomnia”), Miranda Lambert (“Way Too Pretty for Prison”), Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash (“Wanted Man — Take 1”), A Winged Victory for the Sullen (“The Slow Descent Has Begun”), Dr. John (“(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away”), and Kendell Marvell (“Hard Time with the…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Executive Privilege

    The Privileged Few

    From Morgan Chalfant at The Hill, notes on the production of that political and constitutional theater known as “executive privilege”: Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigation, noted that there have not been many judicial opinions concerning struggles between the legislative and executive branches over congressional oversight requests and that in most cases the two sides resolve the dispute outside of the courtroom. Sharman also said executive power has generally increased over the last several decades, apart from a handful of what he termed “retreats” of presidential authority. “The few occasions in … the last 50, 60, 70 years when executive power ended up being…

  • Cocktails,  Congressional Investigations,  DOJ

    Spring Drinks, Bill Barr, Bruce Lee

    I loathe Cinco de Mayo cocktails. They are generally ill-conceived and ill-prepared. But, if you insist, here is a set of recipes from Cowboys and Indians — I don’t name ’em, I just report ’em — and from the Houston Chronicle. For a step up, here are a recipes for Spring and Summer cocktails from Forbes, Refinery29, Marie Claire, and Fatherly that are worth reading (especially the bourbon cocktails in Fatherly). Bitterness reflects much white-collar work. This article from Town & Country about Aperol is worth reading: The Best Aperol Cocktails to Sip Al Fresco. Recent footage of the Attorney General and Congress reminds one of vintage Bruce Lee and…

  • Congressional Investigations

    Clairol, Cohen and Congressional Staff Depositions

    With the ongoing saga of Michael Cohen’s appearance or non-appearance before Congress reminiscent of an old Clairol commercial (“Does he or doesn’t he testify?”), plus the new majority in Congress, my colleague Logan Matthews and I thought it appropriate to address for our friends at White Collar Law 360 the sometimes obscure but always menacing topic of Staff Depositions And The New Congress’ Investigations: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, has withdrawn his offer to testify before Congress, citing what he believes to be safety concerns. Cohen may or may not ever testify — he is to report to federal prison in March. Either way, the dustup over Cohen may presage…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Impeachment

    Takeaways For Subpoena Season: Mid-Terms, Congress and the White House

    The Democrats having taken the House, there is no shortage of predictions of an oversight-apocalypse heading for the White House.  See here and here and here.  And, Jeff Sessions is no doubt relieved to be gone as Attorney General. Some of the doomsday observations are a bit fevered, but there is no doubt that congressional oversight received a shot in the arm from the election results.  And, there is no doubt that hard-charging, partisan investigations, as such inquiries especially tend to be in the House, are hard on executive branch lawyers, staff and witnesses as Politico notes: ‘It’s depressing as hell’: Dem win would spell misery for Trump White House aides…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Special Counsel

    Whitewater and Russian Rapids

    On “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” to discuss the Mueller indictments: Jack Sharman – MSNBC – The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (Oct. 31, 2017) from LFW on Vimeo. We have discussed the Special Counsel’s case before: Search Warrants and Russia Raids. Congress will likely take a turn here.  We have reviewed the role of Congressional investigations and special counsel investigations: Congressional Investigations, Criminal Cases and The Knights Who Say “Ni!” Lessons From An Ex-Congressional Lawyer   Where Did You Go, Batman? Martin Shkreli, Congress, the Fifth Amendment and You  

  • Congressional Investigations,  Impeachment

    Congressional Investigations, Criminal Cases and The Knights Who Say “Ni!”

    We are heading into what appears to be a summer of investigations along the Potomac, some of them in the House and Senate.  What are some of the things we might reasonably expect to see as investigations congressional and criminal cross paths?  And what does Monty Python have to do with it? Previously, I shared a few lessons about congressional investigations. First, the short-version video: Jack Sharman – Learning in Congress from Legal Filmworks Unlimited on Vimeo. Second, a longer how-to approach for lawyers and clients in a congressional investigation: In particular: We are in the summer months.  We have written before about  summer hearings: As a former oversight-and-investigations lawyer for…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Fifth Amendment

    Where Did You Go, Batman? Martin Shkreli, Congress, the Fifth Amendment and You

    It does not help that the most recent symbol of the Fifth Amendment is The Joker:   There has been plenty of news coverage about Martin Shkreli, “pharma bro” and alleged securities fraudster, and his appearance before Congress.  (Examples are here, here and here).   The proceeding itself was snarky, entertaining and time-wasting: Congressional testimony is political theater, no more and no less, but some observations are in order for us non-Joker citizens, as well. As a refresher, it never hurts to take a look at what the Constitution actually says: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment…

  • Congressional Investigations

    Lessons From An Ex-Congressional Lawyer

    Almost two decades ago, I learned several lessons as a Congressional lawyer, some more useful than others.  Here is a 59-second summary of the better lessons. Let’s go over a few more lessons that might be useful, should you or your client be summoned to appear before a House or Senate Committee. The Lessons of Congressional Peculiarities A document request or interview demand from Congressional investigatory staff could be a one-time, narrowly-focused inquiry or part of a complex investigatory broadside – involving simultaneous civil, criminal and congressional investigations into a company (or its employees) or even an entire industry.  Examples in recent times include antitrust, food-and-drug, environmental, financial and corporate-governance…