Monica Lewinsky, Impeachment, and the Death of the Independent Counsel Law: What Congress Can Salvage from the Wreckage - A Minimalist View
53 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2011
Date Written: 2001
As the author of the biography of the first Watergate Special Prosecutor, I was an unabashed supporter of the independent counsel law. One of the tangible, concrete monuments of Watergate-era reform, the independent counsel statute was constructed in direct response to the firing of Archibald Cox by President Richard M. Nixon during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre.” Cox’s job was stripped away by Nixon in October 1973, in a last-ditch effort to save Nixon’s scandal-ridden presidency. Five years later, after a swarm of congressional witnesses and exhaustive legislative deliberations, a special prosecutor law emerged as an integral part of the Ethics in Government Act. In October 1978, a highly optimistic President Jimmy Carter signed the Act into law.
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