Press Releases

Conyers Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Protect Special Counsel

Washington, DC, September 14, 2017

Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Republican Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced H.R. 3771, the House companion to U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis’ (R-N.C.) Special Counsel Integrity Act. The bill text is attached.

If the special counsel is removed, the legislation allows the special counsel to challenge the removal in court, which would be heard and determined by a panel of 3 federal judges within 14 days of the filing of the action. The panel of judges would determine whether or not there was good cause for the removal of the special counsel. In the event that the panel of judges finds there was no good cause for the removal, the individual would be immediately reinstated as special counsel.

Other provisions of the Special Counsel Integrity Act:

  • Codifies existing Department of Justice regulations that a special counsel appointed by the department may only be removed for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause, like a violation of departmental policies. The Department of Justice must inform the special counsel in writing as to the reason for their removal.
  • Ensures that a special counsel appointed by the Department of Justice may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of an Attorney General who has been confirmed by the Senate, or, if the Attorney General is recused from the matter, the most senior Department of Justice official who has been confirmed by the Senate and is not recused from the matter.
  • Provides that the legislation is retroactively effective as of May 17, 2017, and applies to any special counsel appointed or after that date.