October 10, 2003
Republican Senators on the Need for an Independent Investigator
A BUZZFLASH GUEST NEWS ANALYSIS
SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN)
"The reason we have this whole special counsel entity is to remove conflict of interest. It's important, if you're looking at the executive side, not to have the Department of Justice investigating the executive side."
- Chattanooga Free Press, 3/21/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA)
"The fundamental purpose of appointing an independent counsel was to have someone in charge who was not allied with the administration, not beholden to the administration, and not motivated in any way to favor the administration."
- Congressional Record, 9/16/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
SEN ORRIN HATCH (R-UT)
"Both prudence and the American people's ability to have confidence that the investigation remains free of a conflict of interest warrants the appointment of an independent counsel."
- Congressional Record, 3/14/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
"To the extent that any prosecutor is accountable to the executive branch, there inevitably will be pressure not to investigate and prosecute aggressively scandals at the highest levels of government - an inherent conflict of interest."
- The Independent Counsel Statute and Questions about Its Future, Law & Contemporary Problems (Winter 1999): academic article on Independent Counsel Statute
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS)
"Where you have the possibility of the appearance of conflict of interest within the administration, you should go to independent counsel."
- Face the Nation, 03/02/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
Senator Lott said that an independent counsel is warranted where there are "allegations of illegal activity by high up officials that meet certain criteria in the administration, or conversely, where there is the appearance of the potential of conflict of interests from the attorney general, Justice Department with administration officials."
- Press Conference, 3/6/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
SEN. JOHN ASHCROFT (R-MO)
"A single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor. If you're abusing government property, if you're abusing your status in office, it can be a single fact that makes the difference on that."
- Evans and Novak, 10/4/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
SEN. ROBERT BENNETT (R-UT)
"The reason we have an independent counsel operation is because the Attorney General is indeed subject to pressure from the White House."
- Congressional Record, 3/19/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE)
"Criminal investigations should be taken out of politics. Prosecuting wrongdoing should be done without regard to politics. The Attorney General needs to appoint an independent counsel now."
- Congressional Record, 3/17/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
SEN. FRED THOMPSON (R-TN)
"Throughout our history in this country, when we've had problems in the White House, when people who are close to the president had problems, we've just about always had somebody independent come in and take a look at it."
- Meet the Press, 12/7/97: regarding campaign finance investigation
"It is very difficult if not impossible for the Attorney General and the Justice Department to investigate the president and other high- ranking government officials in the executive branch of government without an obvious conflict of interest."
- Government Affairs Committee Hearing, 3/17/99: regarding the reauthorization of the Independent Counsel Act
A BUZZFLASH GUEST NEWS ANALYSIS
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otherwise noted, all original