WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced transparency legislation today to ensure that the work of Justice Department Special Counsels is made available to both Congress and the public. The Special Counsel Transparency Act requires that a Special Counsel submit a report directly to Congress and the public at the conclusion of an investigation, if the Special Counsel is fired or transferred, or if the Special Counsel resigns.
“The Special Counsel Transparency Act is about a simple, bipartisan principle: the public’s right to know. Our legislation would guarantee that every Special Counsel does a report complete with findings and evidence – and that it be directly disclosed to Congress and the American people. A report would be required whenever a Special Counsel finishes the investigation, is fired, or resigns; assuring that the results cannot be sealed or selectively censored,” Blumenthal said. “A Special Counsel is appointed only in very rare serious circumstances involving grave violations of public trust. The public has a right and need to know the facts of such betrayals of public trust. Our bipartisan bill makes it the default that the American people have access to the full story, putting in context any conclusions with findings and evidence.”
“Congress and the American people have a right to know how their government conducts business and spends tax dollars. Special counsel investigations are no different. I was encouraged to hear attorney general nominee William Barr place a high priority on transparency when asked at his confirmation hearing about Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, and there’s no reason to think that Mueller won’t be allowed to finish his work. This bipartisan legislation ensures that Congress and the American people have oversight of and insight into activities and findings of special counsel investigations under any administration,” Grassley said.
The Special Counsel Transparency Act introduced today requires that any Special Counsel produce a report to Congress at the conclusion of an investigation or within two weeks of a removal, transfer, or resignation. The report must include all factual findings and underlying evidence.