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Independent Counsel

(28 U.S.C. § 594)

Note: The Independant Counsel Act expired in 1999. However, this section remains in effect per 28 U.S.C. § 599.

§ 594. Authority and duties of an independent counsel

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(k) Custody of records of an independent counsel.

(1) Transfer of records.

Upon termination of the office of an independent counsel, that independent counsel shall transfer to the Archivist of the United States all records which have been created or received by that office. Before this transfer, the independent counsel shall clearly identify which of these records are subject to rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure as grand jury materials and which of these records have been classified as national security information. Any records which were compiled by an independent counsel and, upon termination of the independent counsel’s office, were stored with the division of the court or elsewhere before the enactment of the Independent Counsel Reauthorization Act of 1987, shall also be transferred to the Archivist of the United States by the division of the court or the person in possession of such records.

(2) Maintenance, use, and disposal of records.

Records transferred to the Archivist under this chapter shall be maintained, used, and disposed of in accordance with chapters 21, 29, and 33 of title 44.

(3) Access to records.

(A) In general.

Subject to paragraph (4), access to the records transferred to the Archivist under this chapter shall be governed by section 552 of title 5.

(B) Access by Department of Justice.

The Archivist shall, upon written application by the Attorney General, disclose any such records to the Department of Justice for purposes of an ongoing law enforcement investigation or court proceeding, except that, in the case of grand jury materials, such records shall be so disclosed only by order of the court of jurisdiction under rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(C) Exception.

Notwithstanding any restriction on access imposed by law, the Archivist and persons employed by the National Archives and Records Administration who are engaged in the performance of normal archival work shall be permitted access to the records transferred to the Archivist under this chapter.

(3) Records provided by Congress.

Records of an investigation conducted by a committee of the House of Representatives or the Senate which are provided to an independent counsel to assist in an investigation or prosecution conducted by that independent counsel--

(A) shall be maintained as a separate body of records within the records of the independent counsel; and

(B) shall, after the records have been transferred to the Archivist under this chapter, be made available, except as provided in paragraph (3)(B) and

(C), in accordance with the rules governing release of the records of the House of Congress that provided the records to the independent counsel.

Subparagraph (B) shall not apply to those records which have been surrendered pursuant to grand jury or court proceedings.

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