Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
Morrison v. Olson
Olson (Defendant) was accused of giving false and misleading testimony to a House Judiciary Committee about the Justice Departments role in the controversy over Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents, which were withheld due to executive privilege. The Ethics and Government Act of 1978 empowers the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute certain high-ranking government officials for violations of federal criminal laws. They would receive information, conduct an investigation, and report to the Special Division created by the Act, which would appoint independent counsel if there was reasonable grounds to believe further investigation was warranted. The independent counsel had a wide range of powers that would help him investigate and prosecute high-ranking government officials. The Attorney General could remove the independent counsel for good cause only and he had to file a report with the Special Division and Judiciary Committees in the Senate and House with an explanation. The Attorney General could terminate the office if the investigation was complete or substantially completed. Congress could oversee activities of independent counsels. The counsel was required to inform the House of substantial and credible information, which the counsel received, that would constitute grounds for impeachment.
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