28 U.S.C. § 591 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 28. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure § 591. Applicability of provisions of this chapter

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

(a) Preliminary investigation with respect to certain covered persons. --The Attorney General shall conduct a preliminary investigation in accordance with section 592 whenever the Attorney General receives information sufficient to constitute grounds to investigate whether any person described in subsection (b) may have violated any Federal criminal law other than a violation classified as a Class B or C misdemeanor or an infraction.

(b) Persons to whom subsection (a) applies. --The persons referred to in subsection (a) are--

(1)  the President and Vice President;

(2)  any individual serving in a position listed in section 5312 of title 5 ;

(3)  any individual working in the Executive Office of the President who is compensated at a rate of pay at or above level II of the Executive Schedule under section 5313 of title 5 ;

(4)  any Assistant Attorney General and any individual working in the Department of Justice who is compensated at a rate of pay at or above level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5 ;

(5)  the Director of Central Intelligence, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue;

(6)  the chairman and treasurer of the principal national campaign committee seeking the election or reelection of the President, and any officer of that committee exercising authority at the national level, during the incumbency of the President; and

(7)  any individual who held an office or position described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) for 1 year after leaving the office or position.

(c) Preliminary investigation with respect to other persons.--

(1) In general. --When the Attorney General determines that an investigation or prosecution of a person by the Department of Justice may result in a personal, financial, or political conflict of interest, the Attorney General may conduct a preliminary investigation of such person in accordance with section 592 if the Attorney General receives information sufficient to constitute grounds to investigate whether that person may have violated Federal criminal law other than a violation classified as a Class B or C misdemeanor or an infraction.

(2) Members of Congress. --When the Attorney General determines that it would be in the public interest, the Attorney General may conduct a preliminary investigation in accordance with section 592 if the Attorney General receives information sufficient to constitute grounds to investigate whether a Member of Congress may have violated any Federal criminal law other than a violation classified as a Class B or C misdemeanor or an infraction.

(d) Examination of information to determine need for preliminary investigation.--

(1) Factors to be considered. --In determining under subsection (a) or (c) (or section 592(c)(2) ) whether grounds to investigate exist, the Attorney General shall consider only--

(A)  the specificity of the information received;  and

(B)  the credibility of the source of the information.

(2) Time period for making determination. --The Attorney General shall determine whether grounds to investigate exist not later than 30 days after the information is first received.  If within that 30-day period the Attorney General determines that the information is not specific or is not from a credible source, then the Attorney General shall close the matter.  If within that 30-day period the Attorney General determines that the information is specific and from a credible source, the Attorney General shall, upon making that determination, commence a preliminary investigation with respect to that information.  If the Attorney General is unable to determine, within that 30-day period, whether the information is specific and from a credible source, the Attorney General shall, at the end of that 30-day period, commence a preliminary investigation with respect to that information.

(e) Recusal of Attorney General.--

(1) When recusal is required.--(A)  If information received under this chapter involves the Attorney General, the next most senior official in the Department of Justice who is not also recused shall perform the duties assigned under this chapter to the Attorney General.

(B)  If information received under this chapter involves a person with whom the Attorney General has a personal or financial relationship, the Attorney General shall recuse himself or herself by designating the next most senior official in the Department of Justice who is not also recused to perform the duties assigned under this chapter to the Attorney General.

(2) Requirements for recusal determination. --Before personally making any other determination under this chapter with respect to information received under this chapter, the Attorney General shall determine under paragraph (1)(B) whether recusal is necessary.  The Attorney General shall set forth this determination in writing, identify the facts considered by the Attorney General, and set forth the reasons for the recusal.  The Attorney General shall file this determination with any notification or application submitted to the division of the court under this chapter with respect to such information.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - 28 U.S.C. § 591 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 28. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure § 591. Applicability of provisions of this chapter - last updated January 01, 2018 | https://codes.findlaw.com/us/title-28-judiciary-and-judicial-procedure/28-usc-sect-591.html


FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard