Grassley, Blumenthal Call on Judiciary Committee to Act on Special Counsel Transparency Bill

WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have called on committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) requesting that the committee move forward on the Special Counsel Transparency Act.  The legislation, authored by Blumenthal and Grassley, requires the Justice Department to produce a report to Congress at the conclusion of any special counsel investigation and make it available to the public consistent with appropriate legal protections.

“Congress and American taxpayers have a right to know how their government conducts its business and spends tax dollars. Special Counsel investigations are no different. The only way the American taxpayer—and this Committee, through oversight—can hold the government accountable, however, is through transparency,” the senators wrote. “The commonsense and bipartisan Special Counsel Transparency Act strikes the appropriate balance, ensuring that Congress and the American people have oversight of and insight into activities and findings of Special Counsel investigations under any administration.”

More information on the Special Counsel Transparency Act is available HERE.

Full text of the letter follows:

 

March 29, 2019

 

The Honorable Lindsey O. Graham

Chairman

Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Chairman Graham:

We write to request that you schedule for markup S.236, the Special Counsel Transparency Act, at the earliest opportunity. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation requires that any Special Counsel at the Department of Justice produce a report to Congress at the conclusion of an investigation or within 30 days of a Special Counsel’s removal, transfer, or resignation. Such report would also be made available to the public, consistent with certain protections under law.

Congress and American taxpayers have a right to know how their government conducts its business and spends tax dollars. Special Counsel investigations are no different. The only way the American taxpayer—and this Committee, through oversight—can hold the government accountable, however, is through transparency. While there are some legitimate reasons for withholding certain information from the public, such as to respect statutes protecting national security or privacy, there should be as much transparency as possible regarding the release of a Special Counsel’s report. Moreover, Congress should receive an unclassified version of any such report—with, if necessary, a classified annex—and be informed in writing of the reasons for the Attorney General withholding any specific information from the public.

The commonsense and bipartisan Special Counsel Transparency Act strikes the appropriate balance, ensuring that Congress and the American people have oversight of and insight into activities and findings of Special Counsel investigations under any administration.

Accordingly, we request that you schedule this important legislation for markup at the earliest opportunity. 

Sincerely,

 

CHARLES E. GRASSLEY

United States Senator

 

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL

United States Senator

 

 

cc:       The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

            Ranking Member

            Committee on the Judiciary