Contact: Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 224-2353

June 24, 2020


Cotton Bill to Limit Over-Politicizing of Special Prosecutors

Washington, D.C. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) introduced a bill to require at least a 7-year gap between an individual’s serving on a special prosecutor team investigating a president or presidential candidate and that individual’s appointment to a Senate-confirmed position. By instituting a “cooling-off period,” the Restore Integrity of Special Prosecutors Act would eliminate the political incentive for individuals to use investigations as political weapons.


Elise Stefanik (R-New York) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.


“The Mueller investigation, General Flynn’s prosecution, and the initial sentencing memo of Roger Stone each reflect the danger of using political prosecutors in politically charged investigations. Just this afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee hearing featured Mueller prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky—a prime example of a partisan prosecutor seeking favor with the Democratic Party. Our bill would restore public trust in future investigations by eliminating the opportunity for political gain in exchange for a partisan inquiry,” said Cotton.


“Special counsels and their staffs are to pursue the truth with unwavering integrity,” said Loeffler. “As we’ve recently seen, that mission has been clouded by self-interest or political bias for some. To prevent that from happening in the future, the Restore Integrity of Special Prosecutors Act will create a seven-year cooling-off period between an individual's appointment to a special counsel investigation or prosecution and when that individual could be nominated to a Senate-confirmed position. I'm proud to cosponsor this legislation that seeks to reestablish public trust in our federal justice system.”



“I’m proud to introduce the House companion bill to Senator Cotton’s legislation, which mandates a 7-year cooling off period for individuals who work on special counsel investigations of a sitting president or presidential candidate before they could be appointed to a Senate-confirmed position,” said Stefanik. “Using a special counsel investigation as a partisan tool and a means for career advancement is corrupt and the very definition of swampy.”