Nota Bene Episode 17: Busting the Seven Myths of Congressional Oversight with Jonathan Meyer


As the Democrats prepare to assume control of the U.S. House of Representatives, many are speculating about the extent of Congressional oversight over the next two years. With this speculation comes a flood of misunderstanding and myths about the role of Congress and their oversight powers. In our conversation with Jonathan Meyer today, author of Don’t Be Fooled: Seven Myths About Congressional Oversight, Jon and host Michael Cohen walk through several of the myths surrounding Congress, their Constitutional power to investigate, and how their powers affect all aspects of the economy.

Jon Meyer is a partner at Sheppard Mullin and counsels clients on their interactions with federal and state government, as well as cybersecurity, homeland security, Congressional oversight and immigration, among other challenges. Jon previously served various appointed roles in the United States Departments of Justice and Homeland Security prior to his recent re-entry into private practice.

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What about the current administration inspired Jon to write this article?

Myth 1 – The Democrats’ anticipated oversight of the Trump administration will lead to a disregard of oversight of the private sector

What is Congressional oversight and how far does it extend?

Myth 2 – A new Congress will automatically mean an abundance of subpoena issuance

Myth 3 – Congressional hearings are all the same and happen too frequently

Myth 4 – All subpoenas are the same

What is the proper way to comply with a subpoena if you’re on the receiving end of one?

Myth 5 – A Congressional investigation is similar to discovery in a civil suit

When Congress enforces a subpoena, how much authority does a Court have in interpreting that subpoena power?

What is the difference between oversight of agencies and oversight of private individuals and companies?

Myth 6 – In order to be issued, subpoenas require a majority vote of the committee

Myth 7 – The law is the most important factor in determining what happens in Congressional oversight

Resources Mentioned:

Jon’s article – Don’t Be Fooled: Seven Myths About Congressional Oversight 


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