Judicial Watch has published a transcript of oral arguments before the Court of Appeals for DC challenging another lower court ruling protecting secretly-issued congressional subpoenas for phone records by Congressman Adam Schiff, relating to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The hearing came after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit ruling in a lower court.
The Judicial Watch lawsuit attempted to gain the impeachment-linked subpoenas for phone records, including those of Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer. Schiff and his Committee are being represented by the General Counsel for the House.
The records led to the private information of Congressman Devin Nunes, Giuliani, reporter John Solomon, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, lawyer Victoria Toensing, and other citizens.
Schiff and his Committee claimed “sovereign immunity” and immunity from transparency and FOIA and that the documents could be kept secret.
Judicial Watch, who is appealing the decision, suggested that the House and Schiff have “absolute” immunity from inquiries about the subpoenas.
Judicial Watch senior lawyer James Peterson said to the three-judge group:
“This is about unveiling illegitimate congressional subpoenas. The unprecedented subpoenas represent government surveillance power and an unlimited power of Congress to invade American’s privacy.”
Responding to the House counsel’s comment that the records be kept away from the public in order to guard the privacy of the targets of the subpoenas, one of the judges responded:
“Well, I do think it is ironic that one of the interests you have expressed is the invasion of privacy when the whole lawsuit from Judicial Watch is that the Committee invaded the privacy of American citizens in the first place.”
“The Pelosi and Schiff House says it has an unlimited power of surveillance and an unlimited power to invade American’s privacy with no accountability., said Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton. “The courts should say no to their corrupt cover-up of these unconstitutional subpoenas that broke the rights of President Trump and other Americans.”
Author: Blake Ambrose