Independent Counsel: the Law and the Investigations
For thirty years, from the 1970's to 2000, independent prosecutors have investigated alleged misconduct by public officials in Washington in one of longest and most controversial episodes in American history. Investigations have ensnarled three presidents -- Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton -- and many lesser figures. The most recent Clinton investigation led to the House impeachment and Senate acquittal of the president -- only the second presidential impeachment in the nation's history.
Two long-time scholars of these investigations have written a superb overview of misconduct in the U.S. government's executive branch and the resulting development and eventual death of the independent counsel law in 1999. The authors show how this idea worked and how it did not work. They discuss the background and briefly summarize the investigations conducted under the law since 1978 from Watergate to Whitewater. An appendix explains the independent counsel law and provides text from the most important Supreme Court case on the subject.
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Tables Figures and Boxes
The Watergate Investigations
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