Douglas Kriner and Eric Schickler
Investigating the President
Congressional Checks on Presidential Power
Princeton University Press 2016
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in LawNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books Network February 21, 2018 Lilly Goren
Investigating the President: Congressional Checks on Presidential Power (Princeton University Press, 2016) is an important analysis of both congressional and presidential power, and how these two branches interact, especially within polarized political periods. Reflecting the way this book examines both of these branches of government and the exercise of their respective powers, Investigating the President garnered two impressive book awards, from the Presidents and Executive Politics Section (Richard E. Neustadt Book Award) and from the Legislative Studies Section (Richard F. Fenno Book Award) of the American Political Science Association. Douglas Kriner and Eric Schickler explore the precedent for congressional investigations into the conduct of and within the Executive branch, while they also amassed over 100 years of data surrounding congressional investigations to discern the impact of these kinds of investigations, even when they do not result, necessarily, in articles of impeachment or indictments of presidential appointees. Investigating the President notes the patterns of impact, from curbing presidential military engagement abroad to shifting the media focus and grabbing the narrative away from the president. The fascinating conclusion points to this under-researched area of congressional power and oversight that may have a more significant impact on presidential conduct and power than has generally been anticipated.