Jack Sharman and Logan Matthews Author Law360 Article on ‘Staff Depositions and Congressional Investigations in the New Congress’
January 24, 2019
The piece, titled “Staff Depositions and Congressional Investigations in the New Congress,” examines the implications of the new rules package for the 116th Congress on investigations of the executive branch and beyond.
Under the new rules, congressional committee members no longer have to be present during depositions taken by staff in the course of a congressional investigation.
“Congressional hearings are about the Members, not the witnesses. Expanding the role of staff in pre-hearing testimony does not change that fundamental political fact,” write Sharman and Matthews. “Nevertheless, staff depositions are a powerful, incisive instrument for congressional oversight investigators intent on bringing maximum pressure to bear on witnesses and their organizations. The use of that instrument bears watching closely in the upcoming months.”
Sharman and Matthews are both members of Lightfoot’s White-Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Investigations practice.
Sharman has practiced law for more than 30 years and was the former special counsel to the House Banking Committee during its Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. In 2016, he was appointed as special counsel to the Alabama House Judiciary Committee for the impeachment investigation of former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley.
Matthews is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law. He previously clerked for the University of Alabama System and for the Honorable W. Harold Albritton III, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.