The Independent Counsel

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Summary of Independent Counsel Investigations

The following table outlines independent counsel investigations from the Carter administration through the Clinton administration. Included is the target, charges, result, and cost of each investigation. These investigations were conducted under the auspices of the Office of the Independent Counsel, established by the Independent Counsel Act of 1978. The Act expired in 1999 and was not renewed.

TargetAdministrationChargeTime spentCostResult
Hamilton JordanCartercocaine use  no indictments
Tim KraftCartercocaine use  no indictments
Raymond J. DonovanReaganmob ties  no indictments
Atty. Genl. Edwin Meese 3rdReaganfinancial improprieties  no indictments
Michael DeaverReaganperjury; lied about lobbying efforts after leaving office  convicted
Asst. Atty. Genl. Theodore OlsenReagandeception regarding documents withheld from Congress30 months$1.5 millionno indictments
Iran-ContraReagan/Bushillegal sale of arms to Iran, profits directed to Nicaraguan rebels in violation of the Boland Amendment6 years$48 million14 indictments, 11 convictions (2 overturned on appeal)
Lyn NofzigerReaganviolations of lobbying ethics law14 months$3 millionconvicted (overturned on appeal)
Edwin Meese 3rdReaganalleged involvement in collapse of military contractor Wedtech  no indictments
W. Lawrence WallaceReaganfinancial improprieties  no indictments
2 Bush officialsBushinformation pertaining to these investigations sealed by court order  no action taken
HUD, 1983-1989Bushsale of favors, cover-up9 yearsest. $8 million*several indictments and convictions
Bush campaignBushinvasion of privacy of Bill Clinton3 years$2.2 millionno indictments
Bill ClintonClintonWhitewater land deal6 years $52 milliondisbarred; indicted, impeached and acquitted on perjury/obstruction justice; 33 other people convicted
Mike EspyClintonsale of favors, cover-up4 years$17 millioncharges filed, acquitted
HUD/Henry CisnerosClintonlying to FBI about payments to mistress4 years$9 millionpleads guilty to misdemeanor, felony charges dropped
Ron BrownClintonpersonal finances1 year $3 millioninvestigation ended when Brown was killed in a plane crash
Eli SegalClintonconflict of interest in fund raising9 months$245,000no indictments
Bruce BabbittClintonimproprieties regarding Indian casino license2 years no indictments
Alexis HermanClintoninfluence peddling2 years $3 millioncleared; one other person indicted
Henry CisnerosClintontax violations10+ years $22 millionno indictments

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