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  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedApril 11th, 2018

What is it?

This bill — the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act — would specify that a special counsel can only be disciplined or fired by an Attorney General who has been confirmed by the Senate, or the most senior Dept. of Justice (DOJ) official who isn’t recused from the matter. A special counsel could only be removed for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause including violations of DOJ policies. The special counsel would have to be informed in writing of the reason for their removal and could request a judicial review of their firing within 10 days.

A legal challenge filed by a fired special counsel would have to be heard by a three-judge panel within 14 days of filing, which could find the special counsel’s termination to be justified or in violation of the good cause requirement, in which case the special counsel would be reinstated. The special counsel could appeal to remain in office while proceedings are pending with the court making a determination. All staffing, documents, and materials of the investigation would be preserved while the matter is pending.

Impact

A special counsel; courts responsible for a judicial review; the DOJ; and the Attorney General.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced this bill to give a special counsel the opportunity to appeal their termination and be reinstated if the firing wasn’t for good cause:

“Special counsels must act within boundaries, but they must also be protected. Our bill allows judicial review of any decision to terminate a special counsel to make sure it’s done for the reasons cited in the regulation rather than political motivation. I think this will serve the country well. I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to make this law.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) added:

“A nation of laws cannot exist if the people tasked with enforcing them are subjected to political interference or intimidation from the President. The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act will install a needed check and ensure that Special Counsel Mueller and his team — and any future special counsels — are able to follow the facts and the law wherever they lead. Congress must act to advance this bipartisan legislation as soon as possible without any further delay.”

This legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 14-7 vote and has the support of three bipartisan cosponsors, including Booker and Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE).


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Medill DC via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act

Official Title

A bill to ensure independent investigations and judicial review of the removal of a special counsel, and for other purposes.

    Our authoritarian monster President is just itching to fire Robert Mueller. The special counsel needs to be protected. Especially when he is investigating the man that can fire him.
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    Based on just one of the requirements for firing—conflict of interest—this special council should never have been allowed to proceed with this group of Trump haters in the 1st place. Clearly this group was compiled to find something, anything to depose this duly elected President. Not only that, but they were/are all part of a much more sinister scheme. Time will tell—and the IG’s report will verify—what ethical Americans have known for some time; the Constitutional Crisis was created the moment the Obamacare Administration wove their web of deceit to surveil the Trump campaign and use the intelligence and judicial system to make it all appear credible. This should frighten every American, no matter party affiliation; sadly though, the Dems no longer care about ethics, and I’m left asking, “When did my voice and my vote stop counting?”
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    This just seems like a logical policy to have. You can’t have a system where the President can just fire the special counsel because he himself is being investigated.
    Like (151)
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    The rule of law is important in America. It is the foundation of our very society. No person should be above the law. If special counsels cluld be fired with no legal recourse, any person above said special counsel could fire them for looking into crimes conmited. That would put that person above the law.
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    Mueller should be able to protect his investigation in order to protect the checks and balances to continue as a democratic republic. #45 and his profoundly corrupt appointees are doing everything possible to create a fascist dictatorship in our country, so checks and balances have never been more important. Imagine us citizens telling district attorneys they’re fired for investigating our possible crimes. Is #45 our dictator? Or are we a democratic republic?
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    Checks and balances need to be preserved.
    Like (70)
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    This falls in the realm of checks and balances. The appointment of a Special Counsel is not to be done lightly and therefore needs sufficient protection to finish the work, regardless of how long that takes. Being able to challenge the firing of a Special Counsel provides some of that protection, strengthening the ability to speak truth to power.
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    Absolutely, especially since the special counsel may be on to something illegal or unethical
    Like (46)
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    Especially when you have a group wanting to stop the truth from coming. No one should be protected from illegal activity whether connected to there political standing or private citizen -
    Like (37)
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    Protect democracy by insuring our system of checks and balances. No one is above the law.
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    Calls for impeachment in the event of such a termination will only come if the Congress is acting in good faith. We have reason to believe that some factions are not, even now, doing that. It is a sad commentary, but I think we all need this extra protection.
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    Robert Mueller must be allowed to follow the facts where they lead him. If you listen to the President or his propaganda network at Fox News you probably believe that this whole thing is a “witch hunt”. But if you would take a moment, remove your emotions for a minute a read on, I’d like to set the record straight. Robert Mueller was a Vietnam veteran, he returned home from that conflict with a bullet embedded in his body, a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for heroism. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and has been a life long man of the law and Republican. He was selected to be the director of the FBI in July of 2001 by George W Bush and he was confirmed unanimously by the US Senate for a 10 year term. In July of 2011, as his term as FBI director was expiring Barack Obama asked that he stay on for an additional two years (this is unprecedented) and the Senate again confirmed his two year extension unanimously. This should speak volumes to his integrity, honor and ability. Men and women of opposite political parties respect his ability greatly, so much so that he was confirmed twice, unanimously, under a democratic and republican president. Robert Mueller is a life long Republican and man of the law who was appointed by a Republican Deputy Attorney General to follow the facts that are laid out before him. Given Robert Mueller‘s track record their is no precedent for concern regarding bias or a political agenda. The innocent man should not fear his investigation, and should welcome it, for it can clear his name. However a man with a conscience of guilt should be very worried, as Mr. Mueller has a track record of turning over every stone and following the money wherever it should lead. As Americans we should be comforted by this, our democracy is protected by men willing to do the right thing for our Nation, not their political party.
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    Sorry but this power is given to the Executive Branch under the Constitution and shall not be changed.
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    This is just more wasted time and money at the expense of the taxpayers. There are already laws on the books to deal with issues like this.
    Like (26)
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    what law is there when the subject of an investigation has control of the investigator? how could that work with thieves, drug pushers, rapists, and murders if they got to dictate the course of an investigation and fire any one who grts close? it wouldnt, law would cease. so how can it be abided for the largest of potential crimes, treason and/or the undermining of the nation and people.
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    There should always be ways to check power between the different branches of government.
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    The republican congress is trying to cover up that Trump is guilty. When it’s over they should be voted out also for helping the Russians. The American people are not dumb they know what republicans are trying to do. Without the Russians Trump would not have been elected.
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    A Special Counsel, who is likely appointed to investigate politicians, MUST be protected from those same politicians. Nobody should be above the law in this country!
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    Though this bill would not be needed for any other administration in history, including Nixon's, it is ABSOLUTELY needed for 45's. Unlike any other administration, 45's has a propaganda echo chamber in Fox So-called News & GOP hate radio that does his bidding. They have already convinced 45's base that Mueller should be fired.
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    this president is becoming more and more like a dictator, we need to stop him.
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