(House of Representatives - January 25, 2019)

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[Pages H1216-H1217]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


                                               Committee on Rules,

                                     House of Representatives,

                                 Washington, DC, January 25, 2019.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Madam Speaker: Pursuant to section 103(a)(2) of House 
     Resolution 6, 116th Congress, I hereby submit the following 
     regulations regarding the conduct of depositions by committee 
     and select committee counsel for printing in the 
     Congressional Record.
                                                James P. McGovern,
                                     Chairman, Committee on Rules.

            regulations for the use of deposition authority

       1. Notices for the taking of depositions shall specify the 
     date, time, and place of examination. Depositions shall be 
     taken under oath administered by a member or a person 
     otherwise authorized to administer oaths. Depositions may 
     continue from day to day.
       2. Consultation with the ranking minority member shall 
     include three days' notice before any deposition is taken. 
     All members of the committee shall also receive three days 
     written notice that a deposition will be taken, except in 
     exigent circumstances. For purposes of these procedures, a 
     day shall not include Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays 
     except when the House is in session on such a day.
       3. Witnesses may be accompanied at a deposition by 
     personal, nongovernmental counsel to advise them of their 
     rights. Only members, committee staff designated by the chair 
     or ranking minority member, an official reporter, the 
     witness, and the witness's counsel are permitted to attend. 
     Observers or counsel for other persons, including counsel for 
     government agencies, may not attend.
       4. The chair of the committee noticing the deposition may 
     designate that deposition as part of a joint investigation 
     between committees, and in that case, provide notice to the 
     members of the committees. If such a designation is made, the 
     chair and ranking minority member of the additional 
     committee(s) may designate committee staff to attend pursuant 
     to regulation 3. Members and designated staff of the 
     committees may attend and ask questions as set forth below.
       5. A deposition shall be conducted by any member or 
     committee counsel designated by the chair or ranking minority 
     member of the Committee that noticed the deposition. When 
     depositions are conducted by committee counsel, there shall 
     be no more than two committee counsel permitted to question a 
     witness per round. One of the committee counsel shall be 
     designated by the chair and the other by the ranking minority 
     member per round.
       6. Deposition questions shall be propounded in rounds. The 
     length of each round shall not exceed 60 minutes per side, 
     and shall provide equal time to the majority and the 
     minority. In each round, the member(s) or committee counsel 
     designated by the chair shall ask questions first, and the 
     member(s) or committee counsel designated by the ranking 
     minority member shall ask questions second.
       7. Objections must be stated concisely and in a non-
     argumentative and non-suggestive manner. A witness's counsel 
     may not instruct a witness to refuse to answer a question, 
     except to preserve a privilege. In the event of professional, 
     ethical, or other misconduct by the witness's counsel during 
     the deposition, the Committee may take any appropriate 
     disciplinary action. The witness may refuse to answer a 
     question only to preserve a privilege. When the witness has 
     refused to answer a question to preserve a privilege, members 
     or staff may (i) proceed with the deposition, or (ii) either 
     at that time or at a subsequent time, seek a ruling from the 
     Chair either by telephone or otherwise. If the Chair 
     overrules any such objection and thereby orders a witness to 
     answer any question to which an objection was lodged, the 
     witness shall be ordered to answer. If a member of the 
     committee chooses to appeal the ruling of the chair, such 
     appeal must be made within three days, in writing, and shall 
     be preserved for committee consideration. The Committee's 
     ruling on appeal shall be filed with the clerk of the 
     Committee and shall be provided to the members and witness no 
     less than three days before

[[Page H1217]]

     the reconvened deposition. A deponent who refuses to answer a 
     question after being directed to answer by the chair may be 
     subject to sanction, except that no sanctions may be imposed 
     if the ruling of the chair is reversed by the committee on 
       8. The Committee chair shall ensure that the testimony is 
     either transcribed or electronically recorded or both. If a 
     witness's testimony is transcribed, the witness or the 
     witness's counsel shall be afforded an opportunity to review 
     a copy. No later than five days after the witness has been 
     notified of the opportunity to review the transcript, the 
     witness may submit suggested changes to the chair. Committee 
     staff may make any typographical and technical changes. 
     Substantive changes, modifications, clarifications, or 
     amendments to the deposition transcript submitted by the 
     witness must be accompanied by a letter signed by the witness 
     requesting the changes and a statement of the witness's 
     reasons for each proposed change. Any substantive changes, 
     modifications, clarifications, or amendments shall be 
     included as an appendix to the transcript conditioned upon 
     the witness signing the transcript.
       9. The individual administering the oath, if other than a 
     member, shall certify on the transcript that the witness was 
     duly sworn. The transcriber shall certify that the transcript 
     is a true record of the testimony, and the transcript shall 
     be filed, together with any electronic recording, with the 
     clerk of the committee in Washington, DC. Depositions shall 
     be considered to have been taken in Washington, DC, as well 
     as the location actually taken once filed there with the 
     clerk of the committee for the committee's use. The chair and 
     the ranking minority member shall be provided with a copy of 
     the transcripts of the deposition at the same time.
       10. The chair and ranking minority member shall consult 
     regarding the release of deposition testimony, transcripts, 
     or recordings, and portions thereof. If either objects in 
     writing to a proposed release of a deposition testimony, 
     transcript, or recording, or a portion thereof, the matter 
     shall be promptly referred to the committee for resolution.
       11. A witness shall not be required to testify unless the 
     witness has been provided with a copy of section 103(a) of H. 
     Res. 6, 116th Congress, and these regulations.