Saturday, July 11, 2020

Justice Department Inspector General’s Authority Expanded Over Graham’s Objections

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) became the sole member of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to vote against legislation that would empower the Justice Department’s Inspector General to investigate DOJ attorneys. 

The 21-1 vote now goes to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain given Graham and William Barr’s opposition.

Per The Hill:

“I’m not going to support legislation that allows an IG to investigate discretionary decisions at the Department of Justice. If there’s a dispute about misconduct between the IG and the attorney general, the last word will be the attorney general who is politically accountable,” Graham said of his proposed change.

Graham noted that he had spoken with Barr about the legislation three times. He said the attorney general did not support his proposal either but DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz did.

“I don’t think he’s ever going to get to yes on any process that allows the IG to look at DOJ lawyers and people under their charge,” Graham said of Barr.

But the committee voted down his amendment, instead passing the bill as originally written by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

The other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Ben Sasse, Josh Hawley, Thom Tillis, Joni Ernst, Mike Crapo, John Kennedy, and Marsha Blackburn.

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