Fair Investigations

Archive Report

Demand for Reform of Congressional Inquiries

Rising indignation over abuses in the conduct of congressional investigations has generated pressures, both in and out of Congress, for reform of committee procedures to protect rights of witnesses and to give greater assurance that purposes for which the inquiries are instituted will in fact be accomplished.

The increasing tendency of legislative investigations to take on the aspects of criminal trials, with committees assuming the functions of judge, jury and prosecutor, has prompted the introduction in the present Congress of more than a dozen sets of rules to govern their proceedings. The evolution of investigating methods from a stage at which rough handling was normally reserved for persons of ill repute to the present stage where no witness seems immune ...

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