POLITICO Quotes Stanley Brand on Benghazi Staffer Dropping Clinton Claims
Akin Gump litigation senior counsel Stanley Brand was quoted by POLITICO for its article “Ex-Benghazi investigator drops Clinton bias claim,” on reports that a former GOP Benghazi Committee staff member, who had filed suit against the panel, claiming he had been fired for not focusing the investigation on Hillary Clinton, has dropped the Clinton claims from the suit.
The article notes that the committee, in its motion to dismiss the suit, had argued that it is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution [Sec.6, clause 1]:
“[Senators and representatives] shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”
Brand, who served as general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, said that the staffer’s lawyers are probably “trying to avoid the entanglement in the speech and debate issue.” He added, “[The staff member] couldn’t possibly prove that allegation without breaching speech and debate because decisions on what to investigate and what not to investigate are core legislative decisions. The privilege is absolute; there is no way he can get around that.”