Lehigh Valley

Congressman Charlie Dent seeks to protect Russian investigation

Bill filed Friday.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent along with Vermont Congressman Peter Welch introduced a bill in Washington Friday that they say is meant to stop a potential "political crisis."

The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act aims to prevent Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired and to make sure the Russia investigation is completed.

"Independent investigations must be given the resources needed to carry out their investigations and the assurance that they have the authority and public confidence to see them through to conclusion," Dent said.

"Our country was founded on the principle that no person is above the law," Welch said, adding "Special prosecutors like Robert Mueller play an important role in upholding this foundational building block of the American democracy. Our legislation will ensure that Special Counsel Mueller will be able to do his job unfettered by political influence or threats to his authority."

According to the congressmen, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, or H.R. 5505, serves as a House companion bill to a similar Senate proposal.

It seeks to establish four general limitations:

•         Establishes parameters for removal, including misconduct, dereliction of duty, and conflict of interest;

•         Requires a written notice explaining the reason(s) for removal as well as the effective date of removal;

•         Allows challenges to the removal to be filed and reviewed by a court of three judges;

•         Retroactively applies to any special counsel appointed on or after January 1, 2017

"I'm proud to lead this bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives that will ensure the Special Counsel can complete his work and that faith in our most fundamental democratic processes is not further eroded,” said Dent.

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