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XXXIII. RESPONSE TO SUBPOENAS

Section 149. Compliance to Subpoenas. When a Member, officer, or employee of the House is properly served with a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order directing appearance as a witness relating to the official functions of the House or for the production or disclosure of any document relating to the official functions of the House, such Member, officer, or employee shall comply, consistently with the privileges and rights of the House, with the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order as hereinafter provided, unless otherwise determined under this Rule.

Section 150. Notification of the House. Upon receipt of a properly served judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in Section 149, a Member, officer, or employee of the House shall promptly notify the Speaker of its receipt in writing. Such notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, notification to the House is not required until the reconvening of the House, when the notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

Section 151. Determination of Proper Exercise of Jurisdiction. Once notification has been laid before the House, the Member, officer, or employee of the House shall determine whether the issuance of the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in Section 149 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House. Such Member, officer, or employee shall notify the Speaker before seeking judicial determination of these matters.

Upon determination whether a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in Section 149 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the member, officer, or employee of the House shall immediately notify the Speaker of the determination in writing.

Section 152. Notification of the House of Proper Exercise of Jurisdiction. The Speaker shall inform the House of a determination whether a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in Section 149 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House. In so informing the House, the Speaker shall generally describe the records or information sought. During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, such notification is not required until the reconvening of the House, when the notification shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

Section 153. Submission of Documents. (a) Except as specified in paragraph (b) or otherwise ordered by the House, upon notification to the House that a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in Section 149 is a proper exercise of jurisdiction by the court, is material and relevant, and is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House, the Member, officer, or employee of the House shall comply with the judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order by supplying certified copies;

(b) Under no circumstances may minutes or transcripts of executive sessions, or evidence of witnesses in respect thereto, be disclosed or copied; and

(c) During a period of recess or adjournment of longer than three days, the Speaker may authorize compliance or take such other action as the Speaker considers appropriate under the circumstances. Upon the reconvening of the House, all matters that transpired under this clause shall promptly be laid before the House by the Speaker.

Section 154. Transmittal of Rules to Court. A copy of this rule shall be transmitted by the Secretary General to the court when a judicial or administrative subpoena or judicial order described in Section 149 is issued and served on a Member, officer, or employee of the House.

Section 155. Guarantee of Rights and Privileges. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to deprive, condition, or waive the constitutional or legal privileges or rights applicable or available at any time to a Member, officer, or employee of the House, or of the House itself, or the right of such Member, officer, or employee, or of the House itself, to assert such privileges or rights before any court.

SOURCE: Committee on Rules