Now the House of Representative has flipped to the Democrats, conventional wisdom anticipates the new leadership will launch a wave of investigations into not only the president but also the proliferating scandals around figures such as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and FEMA chief Brock Long. The firing of Jeff Sessions only exacerbates that possibility.
Some have even suggested that congressional investigations will suffice to address any legally questionable moves by the present administration. But such optimism should be tempered: The new House will have to proceed strategically in selecting both the topics and the tools of inquiry. Missteps will not only undermine proper oversight and generate partisan blowback. They might also sap the long-term prospects for maintaining an executive branch constrained by the rule of law—something both liberals and conservatives should fear.
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