Government buffs must read

Okay, I am researching the position of Independent Prosecutor. I’ve done a lot of research in the newspaper archives, but most of the ones I have searched only go back to 1985 or so. Because of this, I haven’t gotten very much info on what the position actually is… I’m too young to remember such things. :slight_smile: So could someone please inform me? What is the Independent Prosecutor, and why was this position created? Yes, this is sort of like a homework assignment, but I am actually interested and will find out whether y’all answer me or not. So, thanks for any help you can be, but I will also understand if you don’t want to answer. but…please answer. :slight_smile:

tipi :slight_smile:

The Brookings Institution has already written your paper for you. < eg > (I’m sure that you will find other sources to form your own opinion, of course.)

Try , then scroll down to Background and The Genesis of the Independent Cousel Statute.

Really short answer: Nixon’s Attorney General, Kleindienst, had resigned to avoid an impression of impropriety due to his friensdship with Nixon as the Watergate investigation had proceded. When Nixon appointed Eliott Richardson, the Senate had pressured him to appoint a “special” prosecutor to handle the Watergate mess without involving the AG. Archibald Cox was named special prosecutor. When Cox got too close to the truth, Nixon ordered Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson resigned in protest and a new “special” prosecutor, Leon Jaworsky, was named. With all the bad publicity about Cox and Richardson, Nixon was unable to fire Jaworsky who eventually got most of the facts out.

At that point, Congrees began mulling over the idea of an Independent Counsel who would not report to the AG. The argument for the Independent Counsel was to avoid a more clever Nixon successor from getting rid of the Cox-type situation without suffering the Richardson embarrassment. The argument against was that it had not been needed under the very crafty Nixon (who hoist himself by his own petard) and would not be needed in the future. Eventually, Congress passed the law that expired last June 30.


Two words for ya,Nixon and Watergate.
Long long ago and far far way there was an evil president who tried to rig an election.
He had some people break in to the offices of the democratic party.
They got caught and the president tried to coverup the break in.
The rest is history.

t lion

Now, why didn’t someone send this to Congress before they let the law lapse over their embarrassment regarding Clinton’s manhandling of Kenneth Starr?

The IP law was and is a good idea.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Kenneth Starr hated the independent counsel law under which he was appointed. He purposely abused his power as much as possible in order to kill support for the law on Capitol Hill. He succeeded. He is assuming that one of his Republican allies will be elected in 2000, of course, and wants to make sure all Republican scandals are treated in the fair and even-handed manner of the Saturday Night Massacre and its Robert Bork conclusion.

I don’t think the idea of an independent counsel law was a bad idea per se, but there should have been limits on the counsel’s budget and term in office. Now it doesn’t matter, and we’re back to the “special prosecutor” status quo ante of Saturday Night Massacre fame.

So when the next President gets into trouble for taking eleven items through the Express Lane or whatever, he/she can just have the Attorney General appoint a special prosecutor. Once that prosecutor gets close to proving that the President actually took thirteen items through the express lane, the AG can squelch the whole investigation, and we’ll all be really shocked that it happened. Gosh, who let the Independent Counsel law lapse? How did this happen?