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Jul 05

Article V Proposal: Investigations

Today I’m outlining the first of two proposals I have for the Convention of States to Amend the Constitution. Originally, I intended this was supposed to be presented as the second, but in light of the announcement today by the FBI of a recommendation of no charges for the clear violation of the law by Hillary Clinton, I moved this to the first.

Today I want to take on the elephant in the room. That is, the ongoing corruption in our Government and the investigations into that corruption.

It has become clear from many directions that the administration does not want these investigations to happen, and is doing everything they can to deny justice. Therefore I bring forth to you my latest proposal for an Amendment to the Constitution.

An Amendment to prevent Corruption in Government

SECTION 1: When an Appointed or Elected Official of Government is discovered to have been involved in Felonious Acts, Congress must appoint an independent council to conduct the investigation.

SECTION 2: When a Department or Agency of Government is discovered to have been involved in Felonious Acts, Congress must appoint an independent council to conduct the investigation.

SECTION 3: When conduct of a Government agent breaches the trust and public faith of their Department or Agency through Felonious Acts, Congress must appoint an independent council to conduct the investigation.

SECTION 4: Appointment of an independent council shall require three-fifths of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and must be appointed no later than 30 calendar days from when the Felonious Acts were discovered.

SECTION 5: If the House of Representatives and the Senate cannot appoint an independent council within 30 calendar days of the date of discovery, The Supreme Court must appoint an independent council. A Supreme Court appointed council requires concurrence from two-thirds of the justices.

SECTION 6: All agencies and departments must comply with all inquiries by the independent council, under rules as defined by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

SECTION 7: Any person under investigation by an independent council as defined in this Amendment shall not be permitted to seek an Appointed or Elected office other than the one held at the time of discovery until the investigation is closed.

SECTION 8: Any person under investigation by an independent council as defined in this Amendment shall not be eligible for Reprieves or Pardons as defined in Article II Section 2 until the investigation is closed.

SECTION 9: The appointed independent council shall be responsible for prosecuting any and all charges rendered as a result of their investigation.

SECTION 10: All agents of the Federal Government, shall be granted no special privilege in the course of prosecution or enforcement of the laws.

This is a lengthy one. Again, coming from the mind of a non-legal scholar, there’s probably room for improvement. Lets break this one down section by section.

In Section 1, we clearly say if you are an appointee of the President, or were elected by the people into office, and you commit a breach of Federal law while acting as a representative of the Government, you will be subject to an independent investigation into your actions.

US-ConstitutionThis clearly takes on Hillary Clinton. As the appointed Secretary of State, her use of private e-mail and likely exposure of classified material is worthy of an independent investigation. In light of Loretta Lynch not appointing such an investigation clearly shows that the “fix” is in, and justice will not be served.

Section 2 comes from the release of toxic chemicals into the waterways below the Gold King Mine in Colorado by the EPA. The Inspector General of the EPA has determined there was no wrongdoing by the agency or its contractor, and despite the millions of dollars in environmental damage, we the people can’t trust the agency to which is responsible for enforcing the laws they broke.

While Section 3 may sound redundant with the first two, it actually fills a gap. If an “employee” (meaning they are a career Government worker, not subject to appointment or election) commits an act that leaves egg on the face of the department, even if it doesn’t cross the line to call for an independent council in Section 2, Congress shall still be required to engage council to conduct such an investigation.

This section stems from Lois Learner and the actions she committed while working at the IRS. She was responsible for much of the delays in processing tax exempt applications from Conservative leaning groups. When they really did start investigating, hard drives and backups mysteriously went missing or destroyed. She has since left the IRS, and is enjoying her Government pension. The Department of Justice has closed the case, taking no action, despite her being found in Contempt of Congress.

So with the reasons for when an Independent council is required, we move on to section 4. It says that Congress shall appoint the council to lead the investigation with a 60% vote within 30 days of the discovery of the law being broken. The 60% rule is an insurance policy against a partisan council being selected. By setting a hard deadline, neither the majority party nor the minority party can block the appointment, otherwise we go to Section 5.

In Section 5, we say that the Supreme Court may appoint the independent council if Congress fails to act. Again, to prevent partisan bias, the proposed amendment calls for two-thirds of the justices to concur in the selection of the council.

Section 6 makes it clear to all Government entities, that congress will be responsible for creating the rules for these investigations, including rules regarding timeliness and delivery of materials to the investigating council.  They can also set penalties for delaying or denying access.

I take this as a way to prevent things like intentional destruction of records, or unrealistically long delays in fulfilling the investigators requests. With this type of policy, there could be written any number of consequences for non-compliance. (As a person with lots of Information Technology experience, I know all about records retention, records destruction, legal holds, and the like – non-compliance in the private sector was usually big penalties).

We can call section 7 the “Hillary Clinton Rule”. Under this section, we make it clear, if a person is named or is a party of interest in an investigation as defined under Sections 1 to 3, you cannot run for a political office until you are no longer under consideration for felony charges. I do carve out the exemption that you can run for re-election to the same office, but you would not be able to seek another office until the investigation concludes.

This section clearly looks at Hillary Clinton, as she was under investigation for acts while she was Secretary of State while she is seeking the White House.

Likewise, we throw in Section 8, the “Richard Nixon Rule”. If an independent investigation is underway, the President cannot just pardon them and make it go away. The investigation has to conclude and a decision made to prosecute before the President can pardon a person.

This is so we the people get the answers we were looking for in the investigation, instead of it just being closed out with no recommendation. This is similarly what happened to Richard Nixon after he resigned from the President. President Ford pardoned him, for his involvement in Watergate and the secret recordings, and while others were brought to justice, Nixon himself wasn’t.

Going into Section 9, we make it clear, this case will not go back to a Government Agency (typically the Department of Justice) for prosecution, and the council will continue to be responsible for bringing that case to the appropriate courts.

The last section, Section 10, makes it clear that nobody is above the law. This gets rid of “congressional exemptions”, as well as justice turning its back on Government wrongdoing. (author’s note – Section 10 was not in my first draft, and I added it specifically in response to today’s events)

This type of amendment has been clearly called for by the too many to count failures of our Government to bring people to Justice, while rooting out the worsening corruption at the hands of this administration.

Again, I welcome feedback on this proposal, as I’m sure it could be improved on. Leave your comments below.

About the author

Michael Jones

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.

A native of Ottawa, Kansas (approximately 60 miles South-West of Kansas City), he was born in the early 70's and lived most of his early life without traveling far from home.

He has since lived in Lenexa, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City), Houston, Texas, and now resides in Frisco, Texas (north of Dallas, Texas). He has had the experience of traveling to Tokyo, Japan and Tel Aviv, Israel, as well as numerous places around the USA.

A self-professed computer geek, when Michael's not working in his telecommunications job, he enjoys Model Railroading and Paintball.

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.
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