independent counsel

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independent counsel,

in U.S. law, a judicially appointed investigator of charges of misdeeds by high government officials. Originally termed "special prosecutor," the position was first created by the 1978 Ethics in Government Act. Prompted by the Watergate affairWatergate affair,
in U.S. history, series of scandals involving the administration of President Richard M. Nixon; more specifically, the burglarizing of the Democratic party national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
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, the purpose of the law was to avoid the conflict of interest that might develop if the executive branch (i.e., the Justice Dept.) investigated its own officials. The act expired in 1992, but a new independent counsel law was passed in 1994. The new law also permitted the investigation of members of Congress. The request for an appointment of an independent counsel was made by the attorney general; the counsel was appointed by an independent judicial board. An independent counsel was used to investigate the Iran-contra affairIran-contra affair,
in U.S. history, secret arrangement in the 1980s to provide funds to the Nicaraguan contra rebels from profits gained by selling arms to Iran. The Iran-contra affair was the product of two separate initiatives during the administration of President Ronald
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, WhitewaterWhitewater,
popular name for a failed 1970s Arkansas real estate venture by the Whitewater Development Corp., in which Gov. (later President) Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, were partners; the name is also used for the political ramifications of this scheme.
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, and the Lewinsky scandalLewinsky scandal
, sensation that enveloped the presidency of Bill Clinton in 1998–99, leading to his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives and acquittal by the Senate.
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. In 1999, following prosecutor Kenneth StarrStarr, Kenneth Winston,
1946–, American public official, b. Vernon, Tex., grad. George Washington Univ. (B.A., 1968), Brown (M.A., 1969), Duke (J.D., 1973). After clerking for Chief Justice Warren Burger and working in the Justice Dept.
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's confrontations with President Bill Clinton and the impeachment of the president, the law again expired and was not renewed. The attorney general now has sole responsibility for appointing outside prosecutors.
References in periodicals archive ?
Consider these six "practice tips" for managing independent counsel.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) proposed a bill, Monday, to set up an independent counsel to look into allegations that the prosecution and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) bribed politicians using "special activity funds.
name an independent counsel upon the receipt of credible allegations of
South Korea's independent counsel on Thursday summoned President Lee Myung Bak's only son for questioning in connection with his father's now-suspended retirement home project in which critics argue taxpayer money was used.
An insured may be able to recover damages from its insurer under New York General Business Law [section] 349 if the insurer breaches its affirmative obligation to advise its insured of its right to independent counsel, at the insurer's expense, where an insurer's reservation of rights gives rise to a conflict of interest between the insured and insurer.
Commentators have offered a long list of suggestions for directors about how to respond in this new climate, including hiring separate and independent counsel on a continuing basis to advise only the board.
More than two years after Bill Clinton left office, an independent counsel is still investigating his former housing secretary, Henry G.
BENJAMIN WITTES, AN EDITORIAL WRITER for the Washington Post, attempts in r this book an "impartial" examination of Kenneth Starr's term as Independent Counsel.
On March 6th, the Office of the Independent Counsel appointed to investigate Bill Clinton's involvement in the failed Whitewater enterprise filed a 237-page report barely mentioning either that real estate debacle or the Madison Savings and Loan bank that failed in its wake.
In January 1994, the president asked that an independent counsel be appointed to investigate the land deal.

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