‘Grand inquisitors of the realm’: How Congress got its power to investigate and subpoena
> Back in his day, Robert Morris was a pretty big deal. He was just one of two men to sign all three of our nation’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.
> “Wherefore, and encouraged by a consciousness of the Integrity of his Administration, your Memorialist is desirous that a Strict Examination should be had into his Conduct,” Morris wrote, “in order that if he has been guilty of Maladministration it may be detected and Punished, if otherwise, that his Innocence may be manifested, and acknowledged.”
> Morris’s mouthful of a demand was taken up in the House of Representatives, where members referred it to a select committee, ultimately helping lay the foundation for the wide-ranging subpoena power Congress uses to investigate/torment the executive branch, including the president.