Put Up or Shut Up Bill
(Investigations into Public Officials)
Our public officials are not immune from the pressures of life and the pressures to engage in illegal, or immoral, activities. Due to their positions of power and prominence, they may be at more of a risk to succumb to the pressures to act in undesirable ways. When this occurs, we need to be able to properly investigate the matter and deal with the official and the situation in a manner that is fair to everyone and restores the public trust in our governmental institutions.
However, when doing investigations into political officials, the investigations tend to go on for excessive lengths of time, are expensive, and rarely results in convictions or removal of the public official from office. During that lengthy investigation, the public becomes deeply divided on whether the public official being investigated is guilty. It serves to divide our nation, uses our limited resources (time and money), and all for nothing, especially when the public official is not punished (innocence or let off the hook).
When doing investigations, we need to ensure that the investigating authority has all the funds needed to employ as many investigators as they need. However, it must always to limited in scope and must have a 12-month time frame. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution demands that we not suspend a person in limbo indefinitely. It states “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial”.
Although the speedy trial clause doesn’t attach until a person is indicted, the reasoning is the same. When faced with a potential criminal act, we must act decisively and quickly to bring the matter to a resolution, in order to restore public trust and provide fairness to everyone involved.
By limiting the time frame of such an investigation, we are focused on finding the truth and finding it quickly, so the American people can enjoy resolution to the suspicions, whether that resolution involves an indictment or a finding of insufficient evidence to indict.