This bill — known as the TRUMP Special Counsel Act — would require the Attorney General (AG) to appoint a special counsel when the investigation or prosecution of a person or matter would present a conflict of interest for the Dept. of Justice (DOJ), or when other extraordinary circumstances exist. “Extraordinary circumstances” would exist in any criminal investigation of the president or vice president, or their spouses or children. Such circumstances would also exist in any criminal investigation involving the activities of agents or entities under the control of a foreign state acting in coordination with agents associated with the president or vice president.
Once appointed, a special counsel’s jurisdiction would be established by the AG, who would be responsible for including a specific factual statement of the matter for the special counsel to investigate. The special counsel’s jurisdiction would include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed with the intent to interfere with the investigation. To carry out their job, the special counsel would be able to exercise, within the scope of their jurisdiction, the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any U.S. Attorney.
The special counsel could request additional, appropriate DOJ employees to assist their investigation. If necessary, the special counsel could also request the hiring or assignment of additional personnel from outside DOJ.
At the conclusion of their work, the special counsel would be required to provide the AG with a confidential report explaining prosecution or declination decisions.
The bill’s full title is the Trusted, Reliable, Unquestioned Method of Procedure for Special Counsel Appointment, Limitations, and Powers Act of 2017.