Advancing a Free Society

Speaking of New York Times Editorials…

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

. . . I actually agree with this one this morning, arguing that the separation of the investigative functions of the Justice Department’s inspector general and its Office of Professional Responsibility is a silly anachronism. The IG is, broadly speaking, responsible for internal investigations of matters other than attorney professional misconduct, which is reserved for OPR, and I think the Times is correct that this apartheid makes no sense. Yet even in agreement with the Times, I find myself indignant. The paper’s major example in support of the idea that there’s a problem with this division is, well, slimy:

The inspector general reports to Congress and the attorney general and can be fired only by the president. But the job’s purview of detecting and deterring waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct is oddly limited. It doesn’t include power to investigate alleged misconduct by the department’s lawyers in their legal work.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare