Investigating the Trump Administration

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has officially ended. But that does not mean the Trump Administration’s days of being investigated are over. Ever since Democrats seized control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections, congressional leaders have called for their own investigations into executive branch officials and policies. But what does a good investigation look like? And how can lawmakers best use their investigative powers? In a recent report for the Brookings Institution, Paul C. Light of New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service looks to history to identify the elements of an effective congressional investigation. He argues that the key to investigative success lies in good process—particularly making sure that investigations are properly resourced, staffed, and coordinated. Today, particularly in the current hyperpartisan…

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