Congressman Cohen Joins in Introducing Special Counsel Protection Bill
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, today joined Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler and Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism Homeland Security and Investigations Ranking Member Sheila Jackson-Lee and other members of the House Judiciary Committee in introducing the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.
The bill would prohibit any special counsel, including Robert Mueller, from being removed except for legitimate cause (such as misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest or violation of Department of Justice policies), and would provide that a special counsel would have certain due process rights to make a case for reinstatement subject to expedited judicial review. The bill would also require that all special counsel investigative files be preserved for judicial review.
“There is nothing more important right now than protecting our democracy and protecting the rule of law, which is what America stands for,” Congressman Cohen said at a U.S. Capitol press conference with other members of the Judiciary Committee. “No man is above the law. Robert Mueller is our line between the loss of America’s most respected and most important structure – the rule of law – and authoritarian government that makes us more like Hungary, Russia, Egypt, Turkey and China.”
Congressman Cohen added: “If you want to make America great, keep America great, you protect the rule of law so that no man, no woman, is above the law.”
The bill introduced Thursday is a merger of Congressman Cohen’s bipartisan Special Counsel Integrity Act (H.R. 4669), which he introduced with Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Representative Jackson-Lee’s Special Counsel Independence Protection Act (H.R. 3654), both introduced last year.
The new bill is a House companion to S. 2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, that was introduced Tuesday by Senators Lindsey Graham, Chris Coons, Thom Tillis and Cory Booker.