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‘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.

Morris came to prominence in Colonial America by making a pile of money in the shipping industry. When things went south with the British, he employed his ships and business connections to trade flour and other goods to France for guns.

But in becoming the “Financier of the Revolution,” Morris was also a target of critics who wondered whether he was using his government posts in finance to benefit a fellow named Robert Morris.

In 1790, fed up with constant attacks in the media, Morris did something truly extraordinary: He wrote a letter to President George Washington and both houses of Congress asking — almost begging — to be investigated.

Read entire article at Washington Post