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U.S. House Says Staff Absolutely Immune in Answer to SEC

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and a top staff member say the panel and its employees are “absolutely immune” from having to comply with subpoenas from a federal regulator in an insider-trading probe.

The committee yesterday responded to U.S. District Court Judge Paul Gardephe’s order to explain why it hadn’t complied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s requests for documents, phone records and testimony of aide Brian Sutter for more than a year. Gardephe gave the House until yesterday to answer.