“The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham joined the growing chorus of Republican Congressman calling for the appointment of a second Special Counsel.
The argument is fairly straightforward. From yesterday’s post:
Inspector Generals have no prosecutorial power. But they can refer individuals for prosecution.
IG’s can place federal employees under oath.
But IG’s lack subpoena power over non-federal employees. This means that federal employees who come under OIG investigation can stymie the process by simply resigning.
The DOJ Inspector General specifically lacks authority to investigate misconduct by DOJ attorney-prosecutors, who under the current arrangement answer only to Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
These limitations are meaningful – as noted by Congressman Trey Gowdy:
There are twenty-four witnesses outside the reach of the Inspector General…
Probably more. Consider the number of Obama Administration officials now out of federal employ.
However, as I noted previously, prosecutorial power may already be in place – as recently described by AG Jeff Sessions:
I have appointed a person outside of Washington, many years in the Department of Justice, to look at all the allegations that the House Judiciary Committee members sent to us – and we’re conducting that investigation.
And Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd in an earlier letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte:
The Attorney General has directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues raised in your letters.
These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General.
These senior prosecutors are separate from the Inspector General and his team. More here.
The full scope of Session’s Outside Prosecutor remains to be seen. It may prove significant. If prosecutorial scope is more limited, a Special Counsel will prove a likely remedy.” (Read more: themarketswork, 3/18/2018) (Archive) (Senate Judiciary Letter, 3/15/2018)