Top Judiciary Dems Introduce Bipartisan Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act

Jan 3, 2019 Issues: Russia Investigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the incoming Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), along with Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (H.R. 5476 in the 115th Congress), bipartisan legislation to protect the Special Counsel investigation.

The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act codifies an existing Department of Justice regulation providing that a special counsel may be removed only for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause. It also requires written notice to a special counsel outlining the reasons for removal and provides a procedure that allows a special counsel to challenge his or her removal in court.

Reps. Nadler, Jackson Lee and Cohen today released the following joint statement upon introduction of the legislation

“For the last two years, House Republican leadership sat idly by, and often joined in, as President Trump attempted more than once to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and launched serious attacks on senior Department of Justice officials in an effort to end the Russia investigation. Now that Trump has fired Attorney General Sessions and removed Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein from overseeing the investigation, we are faced with an acting Attorney General whose intentions are questionable.

“As the Special Counsel announces new indictments and guilty pleas from Trump’s closest allies and associates, it’s clear that the threat to the Mueller investigation will only grow stronger. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have mentioned their support for the inquiry to continue unimpeded. Now is the time for Congress to finally act and pass this legislation to protect the integrity of the Special Counsel’s investigation and the rule of law.”

The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act is bipartisan legislation that has 123 cosponsors. The Senate counterpart, S. 2644, was introduced last Congress by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Christopher Coons (D-DE), and Thom Tillis (R-NC), and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 26, 2018 by a vote of 14 to 7.