5 Things You Can Do to Prepare When You Receive a Congressional Subpoena, According to Legal Expert Sam Dewey

5 Things You Can Do to Prepare When You Receive a Congressional Subpoena, According to Legal Expert Sam Dewey

Various congressional committees have the power to subpoena witnesses to compel them to testify before a formal hearing and/or turn over documents related to an ongoing investigation.

It can be extremely stressful if you receive a congressional subpoena, according to attorney Sam Dewey, but they key is to not panic. There are steps you can take to protect and defend yourself as you prepare to respond to the subpoena you have received.

Below are five things you can do to help you prepare to respond to your subpoena, according to Sam Dewey.

1. Know You Must Comply

Congressional committees that have the ability to issue subpoenas also have the power to enforce them. So, one of the most important things you should do immediately after receiving a subpoena is to understand that you must comply with it.

It’s natural to want to fight the subpoena, but it’s ultimately useless. While Congress can’t charge people with a crime, they can refer people who don’t comply with subpoenas to the Department of Justice for criminal contempt or to the judiciary for civil contempt.

This doesn’t mean that you have no defense, though. It just means that you should take subpoenas very seriously.

2. Obtain Experienced Representation

Just because you received a subpoena doesn’t mean that a congressional committee suspects you of doing anything wrong. Even so, it’s important that you obtain experienced legal representation if you’ve received a subpoena.

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You should seek out a defense attorney with federal experience specifically related to congressional investigations. Such an attorney might be able to gain more information directly from the committee about your role in the investigation.

This attorney can also play a significant role in mitigating damage to your reputation and the media firestorm that is likely to occur surrounding the situation.

3. Find Out if It’s Valid

One of the first things your attorney should do is verify whether the subpoena is valid, according to Samuel Dewey. Some congressional committees have subpoena power, but that power isn’t overly broad and absolute.

If the committee is acting outside the limits placed on it by issuing the subpoena, your attorney can work hard to defend you in this way.

4. Prepare Your Testimony

Assuming the subpoena is valid, it’s now time to prepare your defense with your attorney, which includes gathering requested documents to be turned over and preparing your testimony.

Your attorney should review with you the protections you have a right to under the Constitution, including not incriminating yourself and due process. If you have concerns regarding either of these, you should express them to your attorney during this portion of the process.

An experienced legal team will help you craft responses in a way that falls only within the scope of the congressional investigation.

5. Practice Your Testimony

Sam Dewey says that testifying in front of Congress shouldn’t be like regurgitating memorized lines. However, you should rehearse what you and your legal team have prepared over and over again before you appear before the committee.

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You want to appear as natural as possible in your responses, yet extremely prepared. By practicing what you are going to say and how you are going to say it, you’ll be more polished and less likely to be thrown off during your testimony.

About Sam Dewey

Sam Dewey is a successful lawyer and former Senior Counsel to the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and Chief Investigator and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Mr Dewey specializes in: (1) white collar investigations, compliance, and litigation; (2) regulatory compliance and litigation; and (3) complex public policy matters. Within these fields Mr. Dewey is considered an expert in Congressional investigations and attendant matters. Mr. Dewey has a BA in Political Science, a JD from Harvard, and is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC, and Maryland.

About David Sol

I'm Wissam Saddique, and I'm a blogger and content Writer. I've been on this exciting journey for about three years now, starting my blogging adventure back in 2020. As a dedicated blogger and content writer, I have had the privilege of exploring various topics and sharing my thoughts, experiences, and insights with my readers. Whether it's travel, technology, lifestyle, or any other area that piques my interest, I love diving deep into subjects and crafting engaging content.

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