Politics Here are the differences between a special counsel, a special prosecutor, and an independent counsel

23:55  18 may  2017
23:55  18 may  2017 Source:   businessinsider.com

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The terms special counsel , special prosecutor , and independent counsel were thrown around interchangeably amid calls for an independent investigation. Here are the differences between a special counsel , a special prosecutor , and an independent counsel .

And what is the difference between a special counsel , a special prosecutor , and an independent counsel ? Here are some examples of when and how special prosecutors have been appointed and how their titles have shifted: The Whiskey Ring scandal.

Robert Mueller© Provided by Business Insider Robert Mueller

The Justice Department appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to look into the ties between Russia and Trump campaign officials on Wednesday.

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As calls from lawmakers and the public for an independent investigation have surged in recent months, the terms special counsel, special prosecutor, and independent counsel have been thrown interchangeably.

And while all three refer to a person tasked to investigate potential legal breaches amid conflicts of interest in the government, the three terms have been used at different points in time and for different reasons.

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  Here’s how an independent investigation into Trump and Russia would happen Sorting out the “special prosecutors” from the “independent commissions.”Special counsel:

The terms special counsel , special prosecutor , and independent counsel were thrown around interchangeably amid calls for an × Recommended For You Powered by Sailthru. Here are the differences between a special counsel , a special prosecutor , and an independent counsel .

Special Counsel ? What’s the Difference ? Related: Here 's the One Man Who Could Turn Up the Heat on Trump. Also Wednesday, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, “What’s needed now is in fact an independent counsel and special prosecutor .”

A special counsel is a government prosecutor who has been appointed to oversee a criminal investigation where the Justice Department has a conflict of interest or under certain circumstances where it would be "in the public interest" to appoint a investigator outside the department.

In the case of the Trump/Russia investigation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal, as well the heightened scrutiny after the firing of FBI director James Comey, prompted Deputy Attorney General to appoint Mueller as special counsel. He cited the  "unique circumstances of this matter."

The appointment of a special counsel by the attorney general or deputy attorney general is "unreviewable," according to the Center for Legal and Economic Studies.

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An outside lawyer has been called upon to lead a sensitive political investigation in Washington, but many are giving him an incorrect title in passing conversation. So what's the difference between an independent prosecutor and special counsel ?

Here are the differences between a special counsel , a special prosecutor , and an independent counsel .

The term special counsel simply replaced the term "special prosecutor" that was used through the 1980s,  after which the laws around special prosecutors expired and were not renewed, therefore retiring the term.

Both terms refer to an independent overseer who can investigate governmental records and press criminal charges.

The term independent counsel, comes from Congress's post-Watergate decision to authorize the creation of an independent special counsel for investigations in 1978 with the Ethics in Government Act. The law dictated that a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, appoint the counsel.

The law, which was reauthorized several times until 1999, was used more than a dozen times to initiate investigations, according to PBS Frontline. It was used perhaps most famously in the 1990s to appoint Kenneth Starr to oversee investigations into President Bill Clinton's conduct.

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  The Latest: House Democrats praise Mueller appointment <p>The Latest on the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election (all times EDT):</p>Load Error

Are “ Special Counsel ” and “ Special Prosecutor ” the same in meaning and easily interchangeable as USA Today says, like “I say tomato and you say tomaho”?. If there is a difference , what’s the difference other than the word?

In fact, the term " special counsel " has replaced the terms " special prosecutor " and " independent counsel " to describe an investigation undertaken by the Department of Justice where there And what is the difference between a special counsel , a special prosecutor , and an independent counsel ?

The current term used is "special counsel" and can be appointed only by the president, the attorney general or the deputy attorney general.

As special counsel, Mueller, once he is finished with the Trump-Russia investigation, can either pass his findings to Congress or leave the decision on what to do with the findings with the attorney general.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller is working on operation budget for probe .
Mueller, the former FBI director, was appointed last week to oversee the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 electionThe size of the staff has not yet been determined. The money to fund the investigation will come out of the government's "permanent indefinite appropriation" fund which is allocated specifically to pay for all necessary expenses of investigations and prosecutions by independent counsels.

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