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Over the past four years, Congressional Republicans have asked the Inspector General (IG) for the Department of Justice to investigate a number of issues related to conduct by DOJ officials:

  • Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton
  • James Comey’s exoneration of Hillary Clinton
  • Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s text messages sent on FBI-issued phones
  • The use of Christopher Steele’s Dossier in the FISA warrant application for Carter Page
  • The use of Stefan Halper as a confidential human source in the Trump-Russia investigation

(The IG investigated all these issues.) Likewise, three years ago Congressional Democrats asked the IG to investigate two issues: Comey sending his famous letter about Hillary Clinton shortly before the election, and anti-Hillary bias in the FBI’s New York field office as it relates to the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigation. (The IG investigated the first issue, and it’s unclear whether he investigated/is investigating the second.)

But my question is, have Congressional Democrats asked the Inspector General to investigate any issues related to the conduct of Attorney General Bill Barr or the conduct of other DOJ officials during Barr’s tenure? I ask because they have publicly criticized Barr and his subordinates concerning a number of issues:

  • Barr’s (allegedly) misleading summary of the principal conclusions of the Mueller Report
  • Barr and Rosenstein’s declination decision concerning Obstruction of Justice charges for President Trump
  • Barr’s decision to task US Attorney John Durham with looking into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation
  • John Durham’s review turning into a criminal investigation and whether it was properly predicated
  • Barr’s meeting with foreign government officials related to John Durham’s review
  • Barr’s role in Trump‘s conduct vis-a-vis Ukraine
  • The decision of the DOJ’s Criminal Division to not open an investigation into President Trump’s conduct vis-a-vis Ukraine after receiving four criminal referrals

So have Congressional Democrats called for IG investigations into whether any of these actions were affected by political bias or were otherwise improper/unethical, given that they have made statements to that effect? And if so, has the Inspector General announced investigations in response to any such requests by Congressional Democrats?

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    The question reads as a lament that the AG is doing his job – K Dog Nov 6 '19 at 23:34
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    @KDog Whether he's properly doing his job is a subject of disagreement, but regardless Congressional Democrats are accusing him of not properly doing his job, so I'm interested in whether they've raised their concerns with the Inspector General. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 6 '19 at 23:42
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    I think the answer is going to be no as the correct procedure and remedy if the House thought wrongdoing is to impeach Barr – K Dog Nov 6 '19 at 23:58
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    @KDog Impeachment is not the only remedy, Inspectors General routinely investigate biased/unethical conduct by executive branch officials (and often at the request of Congressional Committees). Now depending on what the IG finds, it may well provide sufficient basis for impeachment proceedings, but that's a separate issue. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 7 '19 at 0:04
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    Can the IG even investigate Barr? – Fizz Nov 7 '19 at 1:37
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Have Congressional Democrats asked the IG to investigate Barr’s actions?

There have been two requests covered by multiple news organizations.


Kamala Harris Urges Justice Department Inspector General to Investigate Barr, 5/04/19.

Following up on her intense questioning of Attorney General William Barr earlier this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Kamala Harris sent a letter Friday to the Justice Department’s Inspector General seeking an investigation of Barr.

Specifically, Harris wants to know if President Donald Trump or anyone else in the White House sought to compel Barr to investigate Trump’s political enemies, particularly Hillary Clinton.

Senate Dems call on DOJ watchdog to investigate Barr, 4/30/2019.

Democratic senators called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the Mueller report.

Led by Senate Judiciary Committee member Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Democrats accuse Barr of misleading the public when he issued a four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election before releasing the full report.


[H]as the Inspector General announced investigations in response to any such requests by Congressional Democrats?

As of this date, there have no public announcements concerning investigations, related to those requests, at the Office of the Inspector General website.

| improve this answer | |
  • Is it normal for the OIG to comment on current investigations? – CramerTV Nov 11 '19 at 23:31
  • @CramerTV - No, but they do report on completed investigations. By providing the address of the OIG website, those who are interested in what the OIG does are free to look at the summary reports and other news. – Rick Smith Nov 11 '19 at 23:56

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