Attorney General Eric Holder should appoint an outside Special Counsel of sterling reputation to investigate the various scandals that have emerged in the past fortnight.
A regulation (28 CFR 600.1) provides that the Attorney General shall appoint an outside Special Counsel when the Attorney General determines that: criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted; the Attorney General's Department of Justice should not conduct the investigation due to extraordinary circumstances such as the investigation would create a conflict of interest; and it would be in the public interest to appoint a Special Counsel.
Scandals are swirling around Benghazi, the IRS and other federal agencies harassing citizens, and the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press phone records.
These scandals cry out for the Attorney General to appoint an outside Special Counsel. Here's why. First, a criminal investigation is warranted, because there is probable cause that numerous federal officials throughout the government have committed crimes to crush political opposition.
Second, the widespread corruption creates extraordinary circumstances not seen since the Nixon Administration. Furthermore, the corruption, including the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press phone records, means that the Department may employ some of the bad actors.Therefore, a Department investigation would create a conflict of interest.
Third, the public interest would be served by the appointment of a Special Counsel. To make absolutely clear to the public that he intends to uphold the Constitution and not undermine it, Attorney General Holder should appoint a Special Counsel.
The Special Counsel will then develop a prosecutorial strategy and follow the facts wherever they lead him or her.
Scott Varland is an American lawyer residing in London, England.