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Playing With / Hauled Before a Senate Subcommittee

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Basic Trope: Someone gets hauled before a US Senate committee for a reason.

  • Straight:
    • Noname Given, a CIA operative, is asked to testify about [redacted] role in Operation [REDACTED] and what happened as a result of the operation that really didn't happen in [COUNTRY REDACTED]
    • The head of the Army is brought in to a hearing about some activity in which the Army was involved.
    • During a hearing on gun violence, victims of gun violence are asked to testify before the committee.
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    • During a fishing expedition by Moral Guardians, artists said guardians hate are subpoenaed and demanded to testify.
  • Exaggerated:
    • A random person off the street is pulled in to testify as the subcommittee is trying to determine whether random people on the street are Communists.
    • Infants and toddlers are brought before the Senate because a "family values" politician wants to use them to demonstrate that there are too many single moms in the US.
  • Downplayed:
    • Someone is asked to testify before the Senate informally without a subpoena, and they decline politely. Someone else is chosen.
    • Someone is asked to testify before a US Senate committee set up to discuss something boring and of very specific and specialized importance - for example, a hearing on the price and usage of paper.
  • Justified:
    • A major crime or tragedy has happened, and people want answers now.
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    • To show the person testifying before the committee as being criminal/shady/harmful even if he or she cannot be arrested.
    • To use the testimony of the people who are testifying with facts or personal anecdotes to sway emotion, opinion, or both.
    • To create a major media spectacle.
    • To humiliate or frighten the person or persons involved, or alternately, to offer them respect as victims.
  • Inverted: The Senators don't really care to call in people to testify and can discover what they need to know in other ways.
  • Subverted: The Corrupt Corporate Executive has just finished shredding the documents that prove his involvement in a polluting factory that killed thousands of people. The phone rings. It's a senator from his state. Soliciting a campaign contribution.
  • Double Subverted: The contribution isn't large enough, so the senate investigation goes ahead.
  • Parodied:
    • The hearing is about Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000... its extreme, aggravating difficulty and that a Game-Breaking Bug made it Unwinnable by Mistake, and finally that story mode just sucked!
    • The subcommittee calls upon God and Satan to demand answers as to the state of the world.
    • The subcommittee gets a bunch of parrots and mynas. An endless loop of questioning results.
  • Zig Zagged: The issue before the subcommittee is serious and valid, and it calls eight people who are somehow relevant toward it. Five don't show up. Three do, one of the three taking the Fifth Amendment and refusing to answer even about his name, the second engaging in one wacky Courtroom Antic after another, and the third actually sounding serious before he ends his testimony with ..."The Aristocrats!" The five who don't show up finally arrive after being subpoenaed and threatened with contempt and perjury if they don't testify truthfully, and actually do appear and offer some valid perspective on the issue.
  • Averted:
    • The story is set somewhere where this kind of hearing (nor anything similar) is not a part of the political system.
    • There is no subcommittee hearing about the problem.
  • Enforced:
    • In the places where there are these kind of hearings, there are some incidents that are seen as such outrages or so politicized that they almost demand such a hearing.
    • "There's no way there wouldn't be a senate subcomittee hearing about the near destruction of the world! It would give the story some verisimilitude to have The Hero called to testify."
  • Lampshaded:
  • Invoked: The villain calls the hero's Big Good to a hearing to effectively cripple the hero's efforts to stop them.
  • Exploited: When the hero's Big Good is unexpectedly called to a hearing, the villains turn up to the hearing and rat out the Big Good's past actions.
  • Defied: When the idea of the subcommittee is being formed in the first place, an old politician from the 50s stands up and shoots the idea down by giving a horror story of several colleagues of his being hauled before a similar subcommittee and having their careers, livelihoods, and health destroyed by the consequences of the hearing.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

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