Justice Dept. to appoint special counsel for Russia probe
Note: Special Counsel, not Special Prosecutor. There is a BIG difference. Many media outlets have completely fucked this up already, including the Atlantic and the Chicago Trib. There is NO longer any such thing as an independent "special prosecutor," nor can there be under current law. This is a "special counsel" reporting to Justice, therefore someone who can be fired within the executive chain of command.
Here is the excellent PBS description of the difference:
"The 1977 law that created the role of the 'special prosecutor,' placing few limitations on the length, cost or scope of independent investigations, expired in 1999. As a result, that option is effectively off the table, unless Congress reauthorizes the law or passes a new one. Neither scenario seems likely right now, with Republicans in control of Congress and Mr. Trump in the White House.
According to legal experts, the next best option for Democrats seeking an outside probe is for the Department of Justice to appoint a 'special counsel' — an investigator with less freedom than a 'special prosecutor,' and whose investigation could be curtailed or stopped altogether at any time by the Trump administration."