Been working on the serious constitutional problems with the attempt by Congress to act as DOJ prosecutors by investigating what happened on 1/6. Many of the key precedents come from the McCarthy era. Congress can't investigate private citizens except to help make/amend new laws.

3:32 PM · Oct 13, 2021

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If citizens committed crimes relating to 1/6, then they ought to be investigated and charged by DOJ in a court of law - which they are. Congress can't do that. If the idea is that 1/6 protesters are bad people we need to know about, it should be easy to see how chilling this is.
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The arguments made by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee to justify its McCarthy investigation was that Communists posed a grave, insurrectionary threat. The Supreme Court reacted by imposing limits on how Congress can investigate private citizens' political activities.
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If ACLU still existed, they'd be leading the objections to the attempt to haul private citizens before Congress to be interrogated about their political activities. No large firms will touch anyone involved with 1/6. Thankfully, other less partisan legal groups are now mobilizing
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There are now some left-of-center legal scholars pointing out the serious constitutional problems raised by the activities of the 1/6 Commission. This article by @LizaGoitein doesn't go far enough in my view but is a very good framework to analyze this: justsecurity.org/78314/congr…
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Meanwhile, here's Congress' most authoritarian member - @AdamSchiff -- ignoring all of these constitutional and civil liberties dangers of his Committee, threatening anyone who disobeys with criminal prosecution now that they have an AG on their side:
Replying to @tomselliott
MSNBC’s @mitchellreports, asking @AdamSchiff about the possibility of Americans ignoring his subpoenas to appear before Congress, worries about how “time consuming” it will be pursuing “criminal contempt citations” cc @ggreenwald
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For those who think Congress has the right to investigate private citizens as long as the issue is "important," here's the last time the SupCt explained why that's false: 2020. The context was different - Congress wanted Trump's tax returns. Private citizens have more protection.
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The subpoenas issued by the 1/6 Committee to third-party platforms are shockingly broad: vast info on the private acts of private citizens. To obtain those, DOJ/FBI needs judicial approval: so 2 branches agreeing, because investigating crimes lay solely with them, not Congress.
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It's not just a transgression of clear Constitutional limits for Congress to act as criminal investigators, but also chilling of free speech/assembly rights. We saw it in the McCarthy era - when the SupCt stepped in - but imagine a GOP Congress investigating Antifa/BLM protesters
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Replying to @ggreenwald
The “violation of norms” crowd have no problem when their side violates the norms
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Exactly.
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