H.R. 4054 (112th): Restore Public Trust Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Feb 16, 2012 (Introduced).

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I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4054

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 16, 2012

(for himself, Ms. Slaughter, and Mr. Quigley) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to require the disclosure of political intelligence activities, to amend title 18, United States Code, to enhance the prosecution of public corruption, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Restore Public Trust Act.

2.

Table of Contents

Sec. 1. Short title.

Sec. 2. Table of Contents.

Title I—Disclosure of political intelligence

Sec. 101. Disclosure of political intelligence activities under Lobbying Disclosure Act.

Sec. 102. Effective date.

Title II—Public corruption prosecution improvements

Sec. 201. Venue for Federal offenses.

Sec. 202. Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving Federal financial assistance.

Sec. 203. Penalty for Section 641 violations.

Sec. 204. Bribery and graft; clarification of definition of Official Act; clarification of the crime of illegal gratuities.

Sec. 205. Amendment of the sentencing guidelines relating to certain crimes.

Sec. 206. Extension of statute of limitations for serious public corruption offenses.

Sec. 207. Increase of maximum penalties for certain public corruption related offenses.

Sec. 208. Additional wiretap predicates.

Sec. 209. Expanding venue for perjury and obstruction of justice proceedings.

Sec. 210. Prohibition on undisclosed self-dealing by public officials.

Sec. 211. Disclosure of information in complaints against judges.

Sec. 212. Clarification of exemption in certain bribery offenses.

Sec. 213. Certifications regarding appeals by United States.

I

Disclosure of political intelligence

101.

Disclosure of political intelligence activities under Lobbying Disclosure Act

(a)

Definitions

Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1602) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by inserting after lobbying activities each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence activities; and

(B)

by inserting after lobbyists the following: or political intelligence consultants; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

(17)

Political intelligence activities

The term political intelligence activities means political intelligence contacts and efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and planning activities, research, and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in such contacts, and coordination with such contacts and efforts of others.

(18)

Political intelligence contact

(A)

Definition

The term political intelligence contact means any oral or written communication (including an electronic communication) to or from a covered executive branch official or a covered legislative branch official, the information derived from which is intended for use in analyzing securities or commodities markets, or in informing investment decisions, and which is made on behalf of a client with regard to—

(i)

the formulation, modification, or adoption of Federal legislation (including legislative proposals);

(ii)

the formulation, modification, or adoption of a Federal rule, regulation, Executive order, or any other program, policy, or position of the United States Government; or

(iii)

the administration or execution of a Federal program or policy (including the negotiation, award, or administration of a Federal contract, grant, loan, permit, or license).

(B)

Exception

The term political intelligence contact does not include a communication that is made by or to a representative of the media if the purpose of the communication is gathering and disseminating news and information to the public.

(19)

Political intelligence firm

The term political intelligence firm means a person or entity that has 1 or more employees who are political intelligence consultants to a client other than that person or entity.

(20)

Political intelligence consultant

The term political intelligence consultant means any individual who is employed or retained by a client for financial or other compensation for services that include one or more political intelligence contacts.

.

(b)

Registration requirement

Section 4 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1603) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

by inserting after whichever is earlier, the following: or a political intelligence consultant first makes a political intelligence contact,; and

(ii)

by inserting after such lobbyist each place that term appears the following: or consultant;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by inserting after lobbyists each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence consultants; and

(C)

in paragraph (3)(A)—

(i)

by inserting after lobbying activities each place that term appears the following: and political intelligence activities; and

(ii)

in clause (i), by inserting after lobbying firm the following: or political intelligence firm;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

in paragraph (3), by inserting after lobbying activities each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence activities;

(B)

in paragraph (4)—

(i)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting after lobbying activities the following: or political intelligence activities; and

(ii)

in subparagraph (C), by inserting after lobbying activity the following: or political intelligence activity;

(C)

in paragraph (5), by inserting after lobbying activities each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence activities;

(D)

in paragraph (6), by inserting after lobbyist each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence consultant; and

(E)

in the matter following paragraph (6), by inserting or political intelligence activities after such lobbying activities;

(3)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in paragraph (1), by inserting after lobbying contacts the following: or political intelligence contacts; and

(B)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

by inserting after lobbying contact the following: or political intelligence contact; and

(ii)

by inserting after lobbying contacts the following: and political intelligence contacts; and

(4)

in subsection (d), by inserting after lobbying activities each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence activities.

(c)

Reports by registered political intelligence consultants

Section 5 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1604) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by inserting after lobbying activities the following: and political intelligence activities;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting after lobbying activities the following: or political intelligence activities;

(ii)

in subparagraph (A)—

(I)

by inserting after lobbyist the following: or political intelligence consultant; and

(II)

by inserting after lobbying activities the following: or political intelligence activities;

(iii)

in subparagraph (B), by inserting after lobbyists the following: and political intelligence consultants; and

(iv)

in subparagraph (C), by inserting after lobbyists the following: or political intelligence consultants;

(B)

in paragraph (3)—

(i)

by inserting after lobbying firm the following: or political intelligence firm; and

(ii)

by inserting after lobbying activities each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence activities; and

(C)

in paragraph (4), by inserting after lobbying activities each place that term appears the following: or political intelligence activities; and

(3)

in subsection (d)(1), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting or a political intelligence consultant after a lobbyist.

(d)

Disclosure and enforcement

Section 6(a) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1605) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (3)(A), by inserting after lobbying firms, the following: political intelligence consultants, political intelligence firms,;

(2)

in paragraph (7), by striking or lobbying firm and inserting , lobbying firm, political intelligence consultant, or political intelligence firm; and

(3)

in paragraph (8), by striking or lobbying firm and inserting , lobbying firm, political intelligence consultant, or political intelligence firm.

(e)

Rules of construction

Section 8(b) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1607(b)) is amended by striking or lobbying contacts and inserting , lobbying contacts, political intelligence activities, or political intelligence contacts.

(f)

Identification of clients and covered officials

Section 14 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1609) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in the heading, by inserting or political intelligence after lobbying;

(B)

by inserting or political intelligence contact after lobbying contact each place that term appears; and

(C)

in paragraph (2), by inserting or political intelligence activity, as the case may be after lobbying activity;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

in the heading, by inserting or political intelligence after lobbying;

(B)

by inserting or political intelligence contact after lobbying contact each place that term appears; and

(C)

in paragraph (2), by inserting or political intelligence activity, as the case may be after lobbying activity; and

(3)

in subsection (c), by inserting or political intelligence contact after lobbying contact.

(g)

Annual audits and reports by Comptroller General

Section 26 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1614) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by inserting political intelligence firms, political intelligence consultants, after lobbying firms,; and

(B)

by striking lobbying registrations and inserting registrations;

(2)

in subsection (b)(1)(A), by inserting political intelligence firms, political intelligence consultants, after lobbying firms,; and

(3)

in subsection (c), by inserting or political intelligence consultant after a lobbyist.

102.

Effective date

The amendments made by this title shall apply with respect to any political intelligence contact (as defined in section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, as added by section 101 of this Act) that is made on or after the 45th day after the date of the enactment of this Act.

II

Public corruption prosecution improvements

201.

Venue for Federal offenses

(a)

In general

The second undesignated paragraph of section 3237(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding before the period at the end the following: or in any district in which an act in furtherance of the offense is committed.

(b)

Section heading

The heading for section 3237 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

3237.

Offense taking place in more than one district

.

(c)

Table of sections

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 211 of title 18, United States Code, is amended so that the item relating to section 3237 reads as follows:

3237. Offense taking place in more than one district.

.

202.

Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving Federal financial assistance

Section 666(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking 10 years and inserting 20 years;

(2)

by striking $5,000 the second place and the third place it appears and inserting $1,000;

(3)

by striking anything of value each place it appears and inserting any thing or things of value; and

(4)

in paragraph (1)(B), by inserting after any thing the following: or things.

203.

Penalty for Section 641 violations

Section 641 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking ten years and inserting 15 years.

204.

Bribery and graft; clarification of definition of Official Act; clarification of the crime of illegal gratuities

(a)

Definition

Section 201(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2), by striking and at the end;

(2)

by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:

(3)

the term official act

(A)

means any act within the range of official duty, and any decision or action on any question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding, or controversy, which may at any time be pending, or which may by law be brought before any public official, in such public official’s official capacity or in such official’s place of trust or profit; and

(B)

may be a single act, more than 1 act, or a course of conduct; and

; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(4)

the term rule or regulation means a Federal regulation or a rule of the House of Representatives or the Senate, including those rules and regulations governing the acceptance of gifts and campaign contributions.

.

(b)

Clarification

Section 201(c)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

(1)

otherwise than as provided by law for the proper discharge of official duty, or by rule or regulation—

(A)

directly or indirectly gives, offers, or promises any thing or things of value to any public official, former public official, or person selected to be a public official for or because of any official act performed or to be performed by such public official, former public official, or person selected to be a public official;

(B)

directly or indirectly, knowingly gives, offers, or promises any thing or things of value with an aggregate value of not less than $1,000 to any public official, former public official, or person selected to be a public official for or because of the official’s or person’s official position;

(C)

being a public official, former public official, or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, knowingly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept any thing or things of value with an aggregate value of not less than $1,000 for or because of the official’s or person’s official position; or

(D)

being a public official, former public official, or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept any thing or things of value for or because of any official act performed or to be performed by such official or person;

.

205.

Amendment of the sentencing guidelines relating to certain crimes

(a)

Directive to sentencing commission

Pursuant to its authority under section 994(p) of title 28, United States Code, and in accordance with this section, the United States Sentencing Commission forthwith shall review and, if appropriate, amend its guidelines and its policy statements applicable to persons convicted of an offense under section 201, 641, 1346A, or 666 of title 18, United States Code, in order to reflect the intent of Congress that such penalties meet the requirements in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)

Requirements

In carrying out this subsection, the Commission shall—

(1)

ensure that the sentencing guidelines and policy statements reflect Congress’s intent that the guidelines and policy statements reflect the serious nature of the offenses described in paragraph (1), the incidence of such offenses, and the need for an effective deterrent and appropriate punishment to prevent such offenses;

(2)

consider the extent to which the guidelines may or may not appropriately account for—

(A)

the potential and actual harm to the public and the amount of any loss resulting from the offense;

(B)

the level of sophistication and planning involved in the offense;

(C)

whether the offense was committed for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial benefit;

(D)

whether the defendant acted with intent to cause either physical or property harm in committing the offense;

(E)

the extent to which the offense represented an abuse of trust by the offender and was committed in a manner that undermined public confidence in the Federal, State, or local government; and

(F)

whether the violation was intended to or had the effect of creating a threat to public health or safety, injury to any person or even death;

(3)

assure reasonable consistency with other relevant directives and with other sentencing guidelines;

(4)

account for any additional aggravating or mitigating circumstances that might justify exceptions to the generally applicable sentencing ranges;

(5)

make any necessary conforming changes to the sentencing guidelines; and

(6)

assure that the guidelines adequately meet the purposes of sentencing as set forth in section 3553(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code.

206.

Extension of statute of limitations for serious public corruption offenses

(a)

In general

Chapter 213 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

3302.

Corruption offenses

Unless an indictment is returned or the information is filed against a person within 6 years after the commission of the offense, a person may not be prosecuted, tried, or punished for a violation of, or a conspiracy or an attempt to violate the offense in—

(1)

section 201 or 666;

(2)

section 1341 or 1343, when charged in conjunction with section 1346 and where the offense involves a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services of a public official;

(3)

section 1951, if the offense involves extortion under color of official right;

(4)

section 1952, to the extent that the unlawful activity involves bribery; or

(5)

section 1962, to the extent that the racketeering activity involves bribery chargeable under State law, involves a violation of section 201 or 666, section 1341 or 1343, when charged in conjunction with section 1346 and where the offense involves a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services of a public official, or section 1951, if the offense involves extortion under color of official right.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 213 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

3302. Corruption offenses.

.

(c)

Application of amendment

The amendments made by this section shall not apply to any offense committed before the date of enactment of this Act.

207.

Increase of maximum penalties for certain public corruption related offenses

(a)

Solicitation of political contributions

Section 602(a)(4) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking 3 years and inserting 5 years.

(b)

Promise of employment for political activity

Section 600 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking one year and inserting 3 years.

(c)

Deprivation of employment for political activity

Section 601(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking one year and inserting 3 years.

(d)

Intimidation To secure political contributions

Section 606 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking three years and inserting 5 years.

(e)

Solicitation and acceptance of contributions in Federal offices

Section 607(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking 3 years and inserting 5 years.

(f)

Coercion of political activity by Federal employees

Section 610 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking three years and inserting 5 years.

208.

Additional wiretap predicates

Section 2516(1)(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by inserting section 641 (relating to embezzlement or theft of public money, property, or records), section 666 (relating to theft or bribery concerning programs receiving Federal funds), after section 224 (bribery in sporting contests),; and

(2)

by inserting section 1031 (relating to major fraud against the United States) after section 1014 (relating to loans and credit applications generally; renewals and discounts),.

209.

Expanding venue for perjury and obstruction of justice proceedings

(a)

In general

Section 1512(i) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

(i)

A prosecution under section 1503, 1504, 1505, 1508, 1509, 1510, or this section may be brought in the district in which the conduct constituting the alleged offense occurred or in which the official proceeding (whether or not pending or about to be instituted) was intended to be affected.

.

(b)

Perjury

(1)

In general

Chapter 79 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

1624.

Venue

A prosecution under section 1621(1), 1622 (in regard to subornation of perjury under 1621(1)), or 1623 of this title may be brought in the district in which the oath, declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury is made or in which a proceeding takes place in connection with the oath, declaration, certificate, verification, or statement.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 79 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

1624. Venue.

.

210.

Prohibition on undisclosed self-dealing by public officials

(a)

In general

Chapter 63 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1346 the following new section:

1346A.

Undisclosed self-dealing by public officials

(a)

Undisclosed self-Dealing by public officials

For purposes of this chapter, the term scheme or artifice to defraud also includes a scheme or artifice by a public official to engage in undisclosed self-dealing.

(b)

Definitions

As used in this section:

(1)

Official Act

The term official act—

(A)

means any act within the range of official duty, and any decision or action on any question, matter, cause, suit, proceeding, or controversy, which may at any time be pending, or which may by law be brought before any public official, in such public official’s official capacity or in such official’s place of trust or profit; and

(B)

may be a single act, more than one act, or a course of conduct.

(2)

Public official

The term public official means an officer, employee, or elected or appointed representative, or person acting for or on be half of the United States, a State, or a subdivision of a State, or any department, agency or branch of government thereof, in any official function, under or by authority of any such department, agency, or branch of government.

(3)

State

The term State includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(4)

Undisclosed self-dealing

The term undisclosed self-dealing means that—

(A)

a public official performs an official act for the purpose, in whole or in material part, of furthering or benefitting a financial interest, of which the public official has knowledge, of—

(i)

the public official;

(ii)

the spouse or minor child of a public official;

(iii)

a general business partner of the public official;

(iv)

a business or organization in which the public official is serving as an employee, officer, director, trustee, or general partner;

(v)

an individual, business, or organization with whom the public official is negotiating for, or has any arrangement concerning, prospective employment or financial compensation; or

(vi)

an individual, business, or organization from whom the public official has received any thing or things of value, otherwise than as provided by law for the proper discharge of official duty, or by rule or regulation; and

(B)

the public official knowingly falsifies, conceals, or covers up material information that is required to be disclosed by any Federal, State, or local statute, rule, regulation, or charter applicable to the public official, or the knowing failure of the public official to disclose material information in a manner that is required by any Federal, State, or local statute, rule, regulation, or charter applicable to the public official.

(5)

Material information

The term material information means information—

(A)

regarding a financial interest of a person described in clauses (i) through (iv) paragraph (4)(A); and

(B)

regarding the association, connection, or dealings by a public official with an individual, business, or organization as described in clauses (iii) through (vi) of paragraph (4)(A).

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

The table of sections for chapter 63 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1346 the following new item:

1346A. Undisclosed self-dealing by public officials.

.

(c)

Applicability

The amendments made by this section apply to acts engaged in on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

211.

Disclosure of information in complaints against judges

Section 360(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2) by striking or;

(2)

in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end, and inserting ; or; and

(3)

by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:

(4)

such disclosure of information regarding a potential criminal offense is made to the Attorney General, a Federal, State, or local grand jury, or a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency.

.

212.

Clarification of exemption in certain bribery offenses

Section 666(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking This section does not apply to; and

(2)

by inserting The term any thing of value that is corruptly solicited, demanded, accepted or agreed to be accepted in subsection (a)(1)(B) or corruptly given, offered, or agreed to be given in subsection (a)(2) shall not include, before bona fide salary.

213.

Certifications regarding appeals by United States

Section 3731 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after United States attorney the following: , Deputy Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, or the Attorney General.