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.