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NCJ Number: 91953 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Special Prosecutor Provisions of Ethics in Government Act of 1978 - Hearings Before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, May 20 and 22, 1981
Corporate Author: US Congress
Senate Cmtte on Governmental Affairs
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 469
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Congress
Washington, DC 20510
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Critics and supporters of the special prosecutor provisions in the 1978 Ethics in Government Act testified before a Senate oversight committee, focusing primarily on the appointments of a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of cocaine use by White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan and cocaine use by former Assistant to the President Timothy Kraft in 1980.
Abstract: The Attorney General during the Kraft and Jordan cases believed that special prosecutor provisions served a valid function, but that rigid standards in the existing law gave the Attorney General little discretion in determining whether the matter was so unsubstantiated that no further investigation was necessary. He felt that appointing a special prosecutor in the Jordan and Kraft cases was a waste of public funds and suggested revising the act. A former counsel to President Carter also criticized the Act and recommended revisions regarding its triggering mechanisms and the scope of crimes and individuals covered. Another former official from the Department of Justice (DOJ) contended that the present statute damages reputations before decisions concerning a formal charge are made and is unfair because high officials are investigated for allegations that would not be pursued if they were private citizens. Lawyers instrumental in shaping the law assessed its efficacy, emphasizing the need for a special prosecutor independent from the Attorney General, and commented on proposed amendments. The second day of hearings opened with testimony from a DOJ associate attorney general calling for the Act's repeal. The special prosecutor appointed in the Jordan case described his experiences, suggested revisions in the Act, and commented that the next special prosecutor will immediately face a motion by the subject under investigation to enjoin further action on the grounds that the Act is unconstitutional. A representative from the Committee on Federal Legislation, Association of the Bar of New York City, testified that this organization's research indicated that the Act was constitutional and should not be repealed or even amended. The final witness presented the views of Common Cause, which filed a brief supporting the Act's constitutionality in the Kraft case. Prepared statements are included.
Index Term(s): Ethics in Government Act of 1978; Special prosecutors
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