Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina; and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, announced they will reintroduce during the week of Jan. 7 the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.
The legislation would protect Special Counsels from inappropriate removal or political pressure. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last Congress with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 14-7.
The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act:
— Codifies existing Department of Justice regulations to ensure that the special counsel can only be fired for good cause by a senior Justice Department official, and the reason must be provided in writing.
— Provides the special counsel a 10-day window in which he can seek expedited judicial review of his removal to determine whether the firing was for good cause. If the firing is ultimately determined to have violated the good-cause requirement, the removal will not take effect.
— Preserves the staffing, documents and materials of the investigation while the matter is pending.
“This is a time when Republicans and Democrats need to stand up and protect the rule of law in this country,” said Coons. “This bipartisan bill is the best way to ensure that Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller, and future special counsels, can complete their work without interference and to make clear that no one is above the law.”