** PROSECUTING OFFENSES AGAINST CONGRESS, AND MORE FROM CRS
PROSECUTING OFFENSES AGAINST CONGRESS, AND MORE FROM CRS
If someone lied to Congress under oath, how would criminal prosecution of such an offense be initiated?
The suggestion by some Republican members of Congress that Hillary Clinton may have perjured herself in testimony before Congress provided an occasion for the Congressional Research Service to review the relevant law.
"The constitutional separation of powers significantly limits Congress's role in the enforcement of federal law," CRS explained. "Because exercising both the power to make and enforce the law would be an apparent violation of the separation of powers, Congress may neither itself, nor through its officers, directly enforce federal law."
However, "In limited circumstances, Congress has enacted referral procedures in an attempt to influence or participate in the process by which certain criminal provisions are enforced. The criminal contempt of Congress statute provides such an example." See Prosecution of Criminal Offenses against Congress, CRS Legal Sidebar, July 26, 2016.