In may 1993, the Clinton White House sent Janet Reno to the Senate in order to call for the reinstatement of a law, the independent counsel statute, that Reno's predecessor as Attorney General, the Bush appointee William Barr, had tried enthusiastically to kill. The statute, which allows for the appointment of an independent prosecutor in cases of high-level executive-branch wrongdoing, had long been anathema to Republicans, who felt it was used as a nightstick against them during the Reagan and Bush years. The Democrats, of course, had grown quite fond of the statute, which was drawn up in the wake of Watergate, and hoped to revive it.
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