28 U.S. Code § 594 - Authority and duties of an independent counsel

(a) Authorities.— Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an independent counsel appointed under this chapter shall have, with respect to all matters in such independent counsel’s prosecutorial jurisdiction established under this chapter, full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions and powers of the Department of Justice, the Attorney General, and any other officer or employee of the Department of Justice, except that the Attorney General shall exercise direction or control as to those matters that specifically require the Attorney General’s personal action under section 2516 of title 18. Such investigative and prosecutorial functions and powers shall include—
(1) conducting proceedings before grand juries and other investigations;
(2) participating in court proceedings and engaging in any litigation, including civil and criminal matters, that such independent counsel considers necessary;
(3) appealing any decision of a court in any case or proceeding in which such independent counsel participates in an official capacity;
(4) reviewing all documentary evidence available from any source;
(5) determining whether to contest the assertion of any testimonial privilege;
(6) receiving appropriate national security clearances and, if necessary, contesting in court (including, where appropriate, participating in in camera proceedings) any claim of privilege or attempt to withhold evidence on grounds of national security;
(7) making applications to any Federal court for a grant of immunity to any witness, consistent with applicable statutory requirements, or for warrants, subpoenas, or other court orders, and, for purposes of sections 6003, 6004, and 6005 of title 18, exercising the authority vested in a United States attorney or the Attorney General;
(8) inspecting, obtaining, or using the original or a copy of any tax return, in accordance with the applicable statutes and regulations, and, for purposes of section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the regulations issued thereunder, exercising the powers vested in a United States attorney or the Attorney General;
(9) initiating and conducting prosecutions in any court of competent jurisdiction, framing and signing indictments, filing informations, and handling all aspects of any case, in the name of the United States; and
(10) consulting with the United States attorney for the district in which any violation of law with respect to which the independent counsel is appointed was alleged to have occurred.
(b) Compensation.—
(1) In general.— An independent counsel appointed under this chapter shall receive compensation at the per diem rate equal to the annual rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5.
(2) Travel expenses.— Except as provided in paragraph (3), an independent counsel and persons appointed under subsection (c) shall be entitled to the payment of travel expenses as provided by subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, including travel, per diem, and subsistence expenses in accordance with section 5703 of title 5.
(3) Travel to primary office.—
(A) In general.— After 1 year of service under this chapter, an independent counsel and persons appointed under subsection (c) shall not be entitled to the payment of travel, per diem, or subsistence expenses under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, for the purpose of commuting to or from the city in which the primary office of the independent counsel or person is located. The 1-year period may be extended for successive 6-month periods if the independent counsel and the division of the court certify that the payment is in the public interest to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(B) Relevant factors.— In making any certification under this paragraph with respect to travel and subsistence expenses of an independent counsel or person appointed under subsection (c), the independent counsel and the division of the court shall consider, among other relevant factors—
(i) the cost to the Government of reimbursing such travel and subsistence expenses;
(ii) the period of time for which the independent counsel anticipates that the activities of the independent counsel or person, as the case may be, will continue;
(iii) the personal and financial burdens on the independent counsel or person, as the case may be, of relocating so that such travel and subsistence expenses would not be incurred; and
(iv) the burdens associated with appointing a new independent counsel, or appointing another person under subsection (c), to replace the individual involved who is unable or unwilling to so relocate.
(c) Additional Personnel.— For the purposes of carrying out the duties of an office of independent counsel, such independent counsel may appoint, fix the compensation, and assign the duties of such employees as such independent counsel considers necessary (including investigators, attorneys, and part-time consultants). The positions of all such employees are exempted from the competitive service. Such employees shall be compensated at levels not to exceed those payable for comparable positions in the Office of United States Attorney for the District of Columbia under sections 548 and 550, but in no event shall any such employee be compensated at a rate greater than the rate of basic pay payable for level ES–4 of the Senior Executive Service Schedule under section 5382 of title 5, as adjusted for the District of Columbia under section 5304 of that title regardless of the locality in which an employee is employed.
(d) Assistance of Department of Justice.—
(1) In carrying out functions.— An independent counsel may request assistance from the Department of Justice in carrying out the functions of the independent counsel, and the Department of Justice shall provide that assistance, which may include access to any records, files, or other materials relevant to matters within such independent counsel’s prosecutorial jurisdiction, and the use of the resources and personnel necessary to perform such independent counsel’s duties. At the request of an independent counsel, prosecutors, administrative personnel, and other employees of the Department of Justice may be detailed to the staff of the independent counsel.
(2) Payment of and reports on expenditures of independent counsel.— The Department of Justice shall pay all costs relating to the establishment and operation of any office of independent counsel. The Attorney General shall submit to the Congress, not later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal year, a report on amounts paid during that fiscal year for expenses of investigations and prosecutions by independent counsel. Each such report shall include a statement of all payments made for activities of independent counsel but may not reveal the identity or prosecutorial jurisdiction of any independent counsel which has not been disclosed under section 593 (b)(4).
(e) Referral of Other Matters to an Independent Counsel.— An independent counsel may ask the Attorney General or the division of the court to refer to the independent counsel matters related to the independent counsel’s prosecutorial jurisdiction, and the Attorney General or the division of the court, as the case may be, may refer such matters. If the Attorney General refers a matter to an independent counsel on the Attorney General’s own initiative, the independent counsel may accept such referral if the matter relates to the independent counsel’s prosecutorial jurisdiction. If the Attorney General refers any matter to the independent counsel pursuant to the independent counsel’s request, or if the independent counsel accepts a referral made by the Attorney General on the Attorney General’s own initiative, the independent counsel shall so notify the division of the court.
(f) Compliance With Policies of the Department of Justice.—
(1) In general.— An independent counsel shall, except to the extent that to do so would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter, comply with the written or other established policies of the Department of Justice respecting enforcement of the criminal laws. To determine these policies and policies under subsection (l)(1)(B), the independent counsel shall, except to the extent that doing so would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter, consult with the Department of Justice.
(2) National security.— An independent counsel shall comply with guidelines and procedures used by the Department in the handling and use of classified material.
(g) Dismissal of Matters.— The independent counsel shall have full authority to dismiss matters within the independent counsel’s prosecutorial jurisdiction without conducting an investigation or at any subsequent time before prosecution, if to do so would be consistent with the written or other established policies of the Department of Justice with respect to the enforcement of criminal laws.
(h) Reports by Independent Counsel.—
(1) Required reports.— An independent counsel shall—
(A) file with the division of the court, with respect to the 6-month period beginning on the date of his or her appointment, and with respect to each 6-month period thereafter until the office of that independent counsel terminates, a report which identifies and explains major expenses, and summarizes all other expenses, incurred by that office during the 6-month period with respect to which the report is filed, and estimates future expenses of that office; and
(B) before the termination of the independent counsel’s office under section 596 (b), file a final report with the division of the court, setting forth fully and completely a description of the work of the independent counsel, including the disposition of all cases brought.
(2) Disclosure of information in reports.— The division of the court may release to the Congress, the public, or any appropriate person, such portions of a report made under this subsection as the division of the court considers appropriate. The division of the court shall make such orders as are appropriate to protect the rights of any individual named in such report and to prevent undue interference with any pending prosecution. The division of the court may make any portion of a final report filed under paragraph (1)(B) available to any individual named in such report for the purposes of receiving within a time limit set by the division of the court any comments or factual information that such individual may submit. Such comments and factual information, in whole or in part, may, in the discretion of the division of the court, be included as an appendix to such final report.
(3) Publication of reports.— At the request of an independent counsel, the Public Printer shall cause to be printed any report previously released to the public under paragraph (2). The independent counsel shall certify the number of copies necessary for the public, and the Public Printer shall place the cost of the required number to the debit of such independent counsel. Additional copies shall be made available to the public through the depository library program and Superintendent of Documents sales program pursuant to sections 1702 and 1903 of title 44.
(i) Independence From Department of Justice.— Each independent counsel appointed under this chapter, and the persons appointed by that independent counsel under subsection (c), are separate from and independent of the Department of Justice for purposes of sections 202 through 209 of title 18.
(j) Standards of Conduct Applicable to Independent Counsel, Persons Serving in the Office of an Independent Counsel, and Their Law Firms.—
(1) Restrictions on employment while independent counsel and appointees are serving.—
(A) During the period in which an independent counsel is serving under this chapter—
(i) such independent counsel, and
(ii) any person associated with a firm with which such independent counsel is associated,
may not represent in any matter any person involved in any investigation or prosecution under this chapter.
(B) During the period in which any person appointed by an independent counsel under subsection (c) is serving in the office of independent counsel, such person may not represent in any matter any person involved in any investigation or prosecution under this chapter.
(2) Post employment restrictions on independent counsel and appointees.—
(A) Each independent counsel and each person appointed by that independent counsel under subsection (c) may not, for 3 years following the termination of the service under this chapter of that independent counsel or appointed person, as the case may be, represent any person in any matter if that individual was the subject of an investigation or prosecution under this chapter that was conducted by that independent counsel.
(B) Each independent counsel and each person appointed by that independent counsel under subsection (c) may not, for 1 year following the termination of the service under this chapter of that independent counsel or appointed person, as the case may be, represent any person in any matter involving any investigation or prosecution under this chapter.
(3) One-year ban on representation by members of firms of independent counsel.— Any person who is associated with a firm with which an independent counsel is associated or becomes associated after termination of the service of that independent counsel under this chapter may not, for 1 year following such termination, represent any person in any matter involving any investigation or prosecution under this chapter.
(4) Definitions.— For purposes of this subsection—
(A) the term “firm” means a law firm whether organized as a partnership or corporation; and
(B) a person is “associated” with a firm if that person is an officer, director, partner, or other member or employee of that firm.
(5) Enforcement.— The Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Government Ethics have authority to enforce compliance with this subsection.
(k) Custody of Records of an Independent Counsel.—
(1) Transfer of records.— Upon termination of the office of an independent counsel, that independent counsel shall transfer to the Archivist of the United States all records which have been created or received by that office. Before this transfer, the independent counsel shall clearly identify which of these records are subject to rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure as grand jury materials and which of these records have been classified as national security information. Any records which were compiled by an independent counsel and, upon termination of the independent counsel’s office, were stored with the division of the court or elsewhere before the enactment of the Independent Counsel Reauthorization Act of 1987, shall also be transferred to the Archivist of the United States by the division of the court or the person in possession of such records.
(2) Maintenance, use, and disposal of records.— Records transferred to the Archivist under this chapter shall be maintained, used, and disposed of in accordance with chapters 21, 29, and 33 of title 44.
(3) Access to records.—
(A) In general.— Subject to paragraph (4), access to the records transferred to the Archivist under this chapter shall be governed by section 552 of title 5.
(B) Access by department of justice.— The Archivist shall, upon written application by the Attorney General, disclose any such records to the Department of Justice for purposes of an ongoing law enforcement investigation or court proceeding, except that, in the case of grand jury materials, such records shall be so disclosed only by order of the court of jurisdiction under rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
(C) Exception.— Notwithstanding any restriction on access imposed by law, the Archivist and persons employed by the National Archives and Records Administration who are engaged in the performance of normal archival work shall be permitted access to the records transferred to the Archivist under this chapter.
(4) Records provided by congress.— Records of an investigation conducted by a committee of the House of Representatives or the Senate which are provided to an independent counsel to assist in an investigation or prosecution conducted by that independent counsel—
(A) shall be maintained as a separate body of records within the records of the independent counsel; and
(B) shall, after the records have been transferred to the Archivist under this chapter, be made available, except as provided in paragraph (3)(B) and (C), in accordance with the rules governing release of the records of the House of Congress that provided the records to the independent counsel.
Subparagraph (B) shall not apply to those records which have been surrendered pursuant to grand jury or court proceedings.
(l) Cost Controls and Administrative Support.—
(1) Cost controls.—
(A) In general.— An independent counsel shall—
(i) conduct all activities with due regard for expense;
(ii) authorize only reasonable and lawful expenditures; and
(iii) promptly, upon taking office, assign to a specific employee the duty of certifying that expenditures of the independent counsel are reasonable and made in accordance with law.
(B) Liability for invalid certification.— An employee making a certification under subparagraph (A)(iii) shall be liable for an invalid certification to the same extent as a certifying official certifying a voucher is liable under section 3528 of title 31.
(C) Department of justice policies.— An independent counsel shall comply with the established policies of the Department of Justice respecting expenditures of funds, except to the extent that compliance would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter.
(2) Administrative support.— The Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall provide administrative support and guidance to each independent counsel. No officer or employee of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall disclose information related to an independent counsel’s expenditures, personnel, or administrative acts or arrangements without the authorization of the independent counsel.
(3) Office space.— The Administrator of General Services, in consultation with the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, 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. Until such office space is provided, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall provide newly appointed independent counsels immediately upon appointment with appropriate, temporary office space, equipment, and supplies.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 95–521, title VI, § 601(a),Oct. 26, 1978, 92 Stat. 1869; amended Pub. L. 97–409, §§ 2(a)(1), 6 (a)–(c), Jan. 3, 1983, 96 Stat. 2039, 2041; Pub. L. 99–514, § 2,Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 100–191, § 2,Dec. 15, 1987, 101 Stat. 1300; Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(a)–(f), (m), (o), June 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 732–734, 736; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, § 101(a) [title I, § 118], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009, 3009–23.)
References in Text

Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (a)(8), is classified to section 6103 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, referred to in subsec. (k)(1), (3)(B), are set out in the Appendix to Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.
The enactment of the Independent Counsel Reauthorization Act of 1987, referred to in subsec. (k)(1), is the enactment of Pub. L. 100–191, which was approved Dec. 15, 1987.
Amendments

1996—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 104–208, § 101(a) [title I, § 118(a), (b)], in second sentence substituted “for successive 6-month periods” for “by 6-months” and “independent counsel and the division of the court certify” for “employee assigned duties under subsection (l)(1)(A)(iii) certifies”.
Subsec. (b)(3)(B). Pub. L. 104–208, § 101(a) [title I, § 118(c)], which directed the amendment of second sentence of subsec. (b)(3)(A) by striking “such employee” and inserting “the independent counsel” and “the division of the court”, was executed to introductory provisions of subsec. (b)(3)(B) by substituting “the independent counsel and the division of the court” for “such employee” to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
1994—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(b), designated existing text as par. (1) and inserted heading, and added pars. (2) and (3).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(c), substituted last sentence for former last sentence which read as follows: “No such employee may be compensated at a rate exceeding the maximum rate of pay payable for GS–18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5.”
Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(m), inserted at end “At the request of an independent counsel, prosecutors, administrative personnel, and other employees of the Department of Justice may be detailed to the staff of the independent counsel.”
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(e), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and inserted heading, substituted “shall, except to the extent that to do so would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter, comply” for “shall, except where not possible, comply”, inserted at end “To determine these policies and policies under subsection (l)(1)(B), the independent counsel shall, except to the extent that doing so would be inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter, consult with the Department of Justice.”, and added par. (2).
Subsec. (h)(1)(B). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(o), struck out before period at end “, and the reasons for not prosecuting any matter within the prosecutorial jurisdiction of such independent counsel”.
Subsec. (h)(3). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(f), added par. (3).
Subsec. (j)(5). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(d), added par. (5).
Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 103–270, § 3(a), added subsec. (l).
1987—Pub. L. 100–191amended section generally, substituting subsecs. (a) to (k) for former subsecs. (a) to (g) which related to similar subject matter.
1986—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 99–514substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.
1983—Pub. L. 97–409, § 2(a)(1)(A), substituted “independent counsel” for “special prosecutor” in section catchline.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–409, § 2(a)(1), substituted “independent counsel” for “special prosecutor” wherever appearing and “independent counsel’s” for “special prosecutor’s”.
Subsec. (a)(10). Pub. L. 97–409, § 6(a), added par. (10).
Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 97–409, § 2(a)(1)(A), substituted “independent counsel” for “special prosecutor” wherever appearing.
Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 97–409, § 2(a)(1), substituted “independent counsel” for “special prosecutor” and “independent counsel’s” for “special prosecutor’s” wherever appearing.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 97–409, §§ 2(a)(1)(A), 6 (b), substituted “independent counsel” for “special prosecutor”, “except where not possible” for “to the extent that such special prosecutor deems appropriate”, and “written or other established policies” for “written policies”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 97–409, § 6(c), added subsec. (g).
Effective Date of 1994 Amendment; Transition Provisions

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–270applicable with respect to independent counsels appointed before, on, or after June 30, 1994, with transition provisions relating to assignment of employee to certify expenditures and relating to office space, travel and subsistence expenses, rates of compensation, and reporting requirements established or modified by Pub. L. 103–270, see section 7(a)–(e), (g) of Pub. L. 103–270, set out as a note under section 591 of this title.
Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–191effective Dec. 15, 1987, and applicable to proceedings initiated and independent counsels appointed on and after Dec. 15, 1987, but with the following provisions applicable to previously initiated proceedings pending on Dec. 15, 1987: subsec. (d)(2) (relating to reports by Attorney General on expenditures by independent counsel, except that the first such report shall be made only with respect to expenditures on or after Dec. 15, 1987), subsec. (h)(1)(A) except that the 6-month periods described in subsec. (h)(1)(A) of this section shall be calculated from Dec. 15, 1987, subsec. (i),subsec. (k) of this section, and 90 days after Dec. 15, 1987, subsec. (j), see section 6 ofPub. L. 100–191, set out as a note under section 591 of this title.

 

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