SEC Restores Subpoena Power to Enforcement Staff

The Acting Chair of the SEC announced that the agency was restoring power to enforcement staff that had been withdrawn during the Trump Administration. Allison Herren Lee said in a statement that the move “restored a vital tool to our enforcement program to better protect investors by authorizing senior officers in the division to approve the issuance of a Formal Order of Investigation.” The decision will empower senior officers to exercise the delegated authority of the Commission to authorize staff to subpoena documents and take sworn testimony. The Wall Street Journal in a report noted that the move permits about 36 senior officials at the agency to subpoena companies and individuals for records or testimony. The agency during the Trump administration had allowed only two officials to approve new inquiries, saying it would result in more consistent decisions about which tips and complaints justified investigations, according to the WSJ.