by Kristin Amerling, Managing Director of Lanthorn Strategies, consultant to ACS, former chief counsel to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and former chief investigative counsel to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Recently a bipartisan group of congressional oversight experts issued a set of principles titled “Benchmarks for Congressional Investigations into Russian Interference with U.S. Elections and Related Matters.” This initiative is an important tool for evaluating the credibility and rigor of ongoing investigations into alleged election malfeasance.
The document describes four major oversight goals:
(1) a publicly defined investigation scope that includes commitment to follow the facts where they lead;
(2) comprehensive bipartisan cooperation;
(3) transparency on developments and findings; and
(4) regular public reporting on investigative activities.
It also outlines specific ways for Congress to demonstrate commitment to these principles, such as by holding hearings in public unless there is a compelling reason for a closed session.