I’ve lived through Watergate, the Reagan Administration, and the Clinton Administration, and have read about the Warren Harding Administration, so I am familiar with political scandals. So is a special prosecutor a 20th Century idea?
Not even close. The first special prosecutor in U.S. politics,
John B. Henderson, was appointed in 1875 by President Ulysses Grant to investigate something called the St. Louis Whiskey Ring. He was also the first special prosecutor to be fired.
I was intending to summarize the details, but the entire matter is very involved, so a good synopsis is “What We Can Still Learn From American History’s First Special Prosecutor” by Andrew Coan (http://time.com/5502647/prosecuting-the-president-history/? ).
And if you would like to know more about the recent history of special prosecutors and their impact on the Presidency, I would recommend Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate by Bob Woodward (https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Five-Presidents-Legacy-Watergate-ebook/dp/B000FC0U44/ref=sr_1_1? ).
And everything old is new again.