Congressman Turner released the following statement after FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI has concluded its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails:
“I believe it is in the best interest of the country that the independent counsel statute is reauthorized to review the findings of the FBI’s investigation into Secretary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information, and to make an independent and impartial decision about whether to prosecute the former Secretary for potential criminal activity.
“The investigation by the FBI is steeped in political bias, especially considering that former President Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch just days before the FBI announced its decision. The role of the independent counsel is to keep investigations honest and prosecutorial decisions independent of the political, personal, and financial conflicts of interest that undermine accountability in government. It is time for Secretary Clinton to be held accountable for her extremely careless actions.”
In May, Congressman Turner introduced H.R. 5271, the Independent Counsel Reauthorization Act of 2016, which would reinstate the role of Congress in requesting independent investigations of senior Administration officials and require the Attorney General to conduct preliminary investigations when she is provided with specific and credible information alleging that a high-ranking official committed a serious federal crime.
The role of Congress in requesting and appointing independent counsels originated with passage of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 in an effort to curb abuse of power by the President and executive branch officials.
Investigations carried out by independent counsels include:
- Arthur Christy - relating to allegations of illegal drug use by President Jimmy Carter's Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan, 1978
- Leon Silverman - relating to allegations that Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan had connections to organized crime, 1981–84
- Lawrence E. Walsh - relating to the Iran-Contra affair, 1986–93
- Kenneth Starr and Robert Ray - relating to the suicide of Vince Foster, the Whitewater scandal, and the Lewinsky scandal, 1994–2001
The independent counsel statute expired June 30th, 1999.