94th Congress > Senate > Vote 1009

Date: 1976-07-21

Result: 93-5

Vote Subject Matter: Government Management / Government Organization

Bill number: S495

Description: TO PASS, AS AMENDED, S. 495, TO ESTABLISH A PERMANENT INDEPENDENT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE ALLEGED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY BY HIGH LEVEL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

Bill summary: (Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #398 (91-5)) Watergate Reorganization and Reform Act - =Title I: Amendments to Title 28, United States Code= - Establishes within the Department of Justice an independent Office of Special Prosecutor which shall be headed by a Special Prosecutor appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Grants to the Special Prosecutor jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute possible violations of Federal criminal law by any of (...show more) the following persons: (1) the President, Vice President, Attorney General, or the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; (2) any position equal to or greater than level I or level II of the Executive Schedule; (3) a Member of Congress; or (4) any member of the Federal judiciary. Directs the Attorney General to refer to the Special Prosecutor any information within the Special Prosecutor's jurisdiction or any other matter which would be inappropriate for the Department of Justice to investigate. Establishes within the Department of Justice an Office of Government Crimes, which shall be headed by a Director appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Requires the Attorney General to delegate to the Office on Government Crimes jurisdiction of: (1) criminal violations of Federal law related directly or indirectly to his Government position, employment, or compensation, by any individual who holds an elected or appointed Federal Government office; (2) criminal violations of Federal laws relating to lobbying, conflicts of interest, campaigns, and election to public office committed by any person; (3) investigations and prosecutions of criminal violations of Federal law involving State or local government officials or employees; and (4) such other matters as the Attorney General may deem appropriate. Requires the Attorney General to promulgate rules and regulations which require any officer or employee of the Department of Justice, to disqualify himself from participation in a particular investigation or prosecution if such participation may result in a personal, financial, or partisan political conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof. Establishes within the Department of Justice an Office of Professional Responsibility to review any allegation concerning conduct by an employee of the Department of Justice that may be in violation of law, regulations, or orders. =Title II: Congressional Legal Counsel= - Establishes the Office of Congressional Legal Counsel, which shall be headed by the Congressional Legal Counsel and Deputy Congressional Legal Counsel, who shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives subject to approval by concurrent resolution. Directs the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations to oversee the activities of the Office of Congressional Legal Counsel. Authorizes the Office, at the direction of Congress or the appropriate House, to defend the Congress, a House, a committee, a Member, or employee in any civil action arising from the duties of such entity or person, and to defend them in any civil action arising from issuance of a subpena or other order. Authorizes the Congressional Legal Counsel, with approval, to bring a civil action to enforce or issue a declaratory judgment concerning the validity of any Congressional subpena or other order. Authorizes such Counsel, with approval, to intervene or appear as amicus curiae in specified actions in which the constitutionality of Federal law is at issue and in actions where the powers and responsibilities of Congress are at issue. Makes the Counsel the representative of the Congress in requesting a court for a grant of immunity. Assigns the Counsel specified advisory and consultative duties. Assigns the Counsel the duty of defending vigoriously specified issues of congressional power and prerogative. Sets forth procedures for directives under this title to the Counsel. Relieves the Attorney General of responsibility for representation where the Counsel, under this title, has assumed such presentation. Grants original jurisdiction to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia over any civil action brought by the Congress, a House, a committee, or a subcommittee to enforce or secure a declaration of the validity of any subpena or order issued. Authorizes necessary appropriations to carry out this title through fiscal year 1981. =Title III: Government Personnel; Financial Disclosure Requirements= - Requires any individual who is or was an officer or employee of the Government including President, Vice President, Members of Congress, justices and judges, Federal employees compensated at rate of GS-16 or above, uniformed service employees compensated at a rate of 0-7 and above, and candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency and the Congress to file annual financial statements. Requires such statements to fully disclose: (1) amount and sources of income and gifts exceeding $100 in value; (2) the fair market value and source of items received in kind, including transportation and entertainment over a value of $500; (3) the identity of assets (including real property) other than strictly personal items, which exceed $1,000 in value; and (4) the terms of any contract, and the parties thereto, respecting employment after termination of, or leave of absence from, Government employment. Requires GS-16 Federal employees and 0-7 uniformed service employees to disclose receipt of income from non-Governmental sources exceeding $5,000 in any of the preceding five years. Requires such disclosures under this title to include items and income jointly held or held on behalf of persons required to report. Sets forth filing procedures under this title. Imposes a fine of $10,000 or imprisonment for one year, or both, upon those who fail to file or do so fraudulently, and authorizes the Attorney General to bring a civil action against such a person. Permits personnel actions against such persons by appropriate authorities. Requires the Comptroller General to make public a list of those who have failed to file statements under this title. Makes it unlawful for any person to inspect or obtain a copy of any such report for any unlawful or commercial purpose. Requires the Comptroller General to audit up to five percent of the statements filed with him, to audit the statements of the President and Vice President at least once in their four-year term, and to audit the statements of each Member of Congress at least once every six years. Authorizes necessary appropriations to carry out this title through fiscal year 1981.

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Bill titles: A bill to establish certain Federal agencies, effect certain reorganizations of the Federal Government, and to implement certain reforms in the operation of the Federal Government recommended by the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, and for other purposes.

Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 122-109, p. S12112;

Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov

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