H.R. 117 (106th): Independent Counsel Accountability and Reform Act of 1999

106th Congress, 1999–2000. Text as of Jan 06, 1999 (Introduced).

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HR 117 IH

106th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 117

To reform the independent counsel statute, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 6, 1999

Mr. DICKEY (for himself, Mr. TAYLOR of North Carolina, Mr. DUNCAN, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mr. STUMP, Mr. NORWOOD, and Mr. HEFLEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To reform the independent counsel statute, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Independent Counsel Accountability and Reform Act of 1999’.

SEC. 2. BASIS FOR INVESTIGATION.

    (a) PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION- Section 591 of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a)--

        (A) by striking ‘information’ and inserting ‘specific information from a credible source that is’; and

        (B) by striking ‘may have’ and inserting ‘has’; and

      (2) in subsection (c)(1)--

        (A) by striking ‘information’ and inserting ‘specific information from a credible source that is’; and

        (B) by striking ‘may have’ and inserting ‘has’.

    (b) FURTHER INVESTIGATION- Section 592(c)(2) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘information’ and inserting ‘specific information from a credible source that is’.

SEC. 3. SUBPOENA POWER.

    Section 592(a)(2) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘grant immunity, or issue subpoenas’ and inserting ‘or grant immunity, but may issue subpoenas duces tecum’.

SEC. 4. AUTHORITY OF ATTORNEY GENERAL.

    Section 592(a)(2) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraph (B), by striking ‘(A)’, and by running the text of subparagraph (A) into the paragraph heading.

SEC. 5. PROSECUTORIAL JURISDICTION OF INDEPENDENT COUNSEL.

    (a) PROSECUTORIAL JURISDICTION- Section 593(b) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (1)--

        (A) by striking ‘define’ and inserting ‘, with specificity, define’; and

        (B) by adding at the end the following: ‘Such jurisdiction shall be limited to the alleged violations of criminal law with respect to which the Attorney General has requested the appointment of the independent counsel and matters directly related to such criminal violations.’; and

      (2) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:

      ‘(3) SCOPE OF PROSECUTORIAL JURISDICTION- In defining the independent counsel’s prosecutorial jurisdiction, the division of the court shall assure that the independent counsel has adequate authority to fully investigate and prosecute the alleged violations of criminal law with respect to which the Attorney General has requested the appointment of the independent counsel and matters directly related to such criminal violations, including perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 592(d) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘subject matter and all matters related to that subject matter’ and inserting ‘the alleged violations of criminal law with respect to which the application is made and matters directly related to such criminal violations’.

SEC. 6. ATTORNEYS’ FEES.

    Section 593(f) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in the first sentence of paragraph (1)--

        (A) by striking ‘the court may’ and inserting ‘the court shall’;

        (B) by inserting after ‘pursuant to that investigation,’ the following: ‘if such individual is acquitted of all charges, or no conviction is obtained against such individual, at a trial brought pursuant to that investigation, or if the conviction of such individual at such a trial is overturned on appeal,’; and

        (C) by inserting ‘, trial, and appeal (if any)’ after ‘during that investigation’; and

      (2) by striking paragraph (2) and striking ‘(1) AWARD OF FEES- ’ and running the matter in paragraph (1) into the subsection heading.

SEC. 7. ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT.

    (a) ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES- Section 594(l)(2) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts’ and inserting ‘Administrator of General Services’; and

      (2) by striking ‘Administrative Office of the United States Courts’ and inserting ‘General Services Administration’.

    (b) OFFICE SPACE- Section 594(l)(3) of title 28, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(3) OFFICE SPACE- The Administrator of General Services shall promptly provide appropriate office space for each independent counsel. Such office space shall be within a Federal building unless the Administrator of General Services determines that other arrangements would cost less.’.

SEC. 8. AUTHORITIES AND DUTIES OF INDEPENDENT COUNSEL.

    (a) COMPLIANCE WITH POLICIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE- Section 594(f) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘enforcement of the criminal laws’ and inserting ‘the enforcement of criminal laws and the release of information relating to criminal proceedings’.

    (b) LIMITATION ON EXPENDITURES- Section 594 of title 28, United States Code is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(m) LIMITATION ON EXPENDITURES- No funds may be expended for the operation of any office of independent counsel after the end of the 2-year period after its establishment, except to the extent that an appropriations Act enacted after such establishment specifically makes available funds for such office for use after the end of that 2-year period.’.

SEC. 9. TREATMENT OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.

    Section 594(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘An independent counsel appointed under this chapter who gains access to classified information shall follow all procedures established by the United States Government regarding the maintenance, use, and disclosure of such information. The failure to follow such procedures shall be grounds for removal for good cause under section 596(a)(1), in addition to any penalty provided in section 798 of title 18 or any other law that may apply.’.

SEC. 10. OUTSIDE LEGAL WORK.

    Section 594(j)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting before the period the following: ‘and any such independent counsel may not during such period engage in any legal work which is additional to the legal work the counsel is engaged in as such a counsel’.

SEC. 11. ELIMINATION OF REPORTS.

    (a) SECTION 594- Section 594(h) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), by striking the dash, and by striking ‘(A)’ and running the text of subparagraph (A) after ‘shall’;

      (2) by striking everything after the first sentence in paragraph (2); and

      (3) by striking paragraph (3).

    (b) SECTION 595- Section 595(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking paragraph (2); and

      (2) by striking the heading for paragraph (1) and running the text of such paragraph into the heading for subsection (a).

    (c) SECTION 596- Section 596(b) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (1), by striking subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), by striking the dash, and by striking ‘(A)’ and running the text of subparagraph (A) after ‘when’; and

      (2) in paragraph (2), by striking the second sentence.

SEC. 12. REMOVAL, TERMINATION, AND PERIODIC REAPPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT COUNSEL.

    (a) GROUNDS FOR REMOVAL- Section 596(a)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘Failure of the independent counsel to comply with--

        ‘(A) the established policies of the Department of Justice as required by section 594(f), and

        ‘(B) section 594(j),

      may be grounds for removing that independent counsel from office for good cause under this subsection.’.

    (b) TERMINATION- Section 596(b)(2) of title 28, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(2) TERMINATION BY DIVISION OF THE COURT- The division of the court may terminate an office of independent counsel at any time--

        ‘(A) on its own motion, or

        ‘(B) upon the request of the Attorney General,

      on the ground that the investigation conducted by the independent counsel has been completed or substantially completed and that it would be appropriate for the Department of Justice to complete such investigation or to conduct any prosecution brought pursuant to such investigation, or on the ground that continuation of the investigation or prosecution conducted by the independent counsel is not in the public interest.’.

    (c) QUARTERLY EXPENDITURES-

      (1) AMENDMENT- Section 596(c) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(3) On or before the end of March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31 of each year, an independent counsel shall report to the committees listed in paragraph (2)(B) the aggregate amount expended in the previous quarter. The requirement to report such amount shall not be construed to require a disclosure of the investigation for which such amount was expended.’.

      (2) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendment made by paragraph (1), shall take effect at the end of the 1st quarter beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (d) PERIODIC REAPPOINTMENT- Section 596 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(d) PERIODIC REAPPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT COUNSEL- If an office of independent counsel has not terminated before--

      ‘(1) the date that is 2 years after the original appointment to that office, or

      ‘(2) the end of each succeeding 2-year period,

    such counsel shall apply to the division of the court for reappointment. The court shall first determine whether the office of that independent counsel should be terminated under subsection (b)(2). If the court determines that such office will not be terminated under such subsection, the court shall reappoint the applicant if the court determines that such applicant remains the appropriate person to carry out the duties of the office. If not, the court shall appoint some other person whom it considers qualified under the standards set forth in section 593 of this title. If the court has not taken the actions required by this subsection within 90 days after the end of the applicable 2-year period, then that office of independent counsel shall terminate at the end of that 90-day period.’.

SEC. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall not apply with respect to any investigation which is pending, before an independent counsel appointed under chapter 40 of title 28, United States Code, on the date of enactment of this Act.