Federal legal counsel still operating without transparency

The Washington Post writes that the federal Office of Legal Counsel OLC), a division of the Justice Department, provides opinions that sanction important government policies and actions but operates with little public scrutiny. Says the Post, “…while ordinary citizens may be unaware of how this powerful office operates, they would probably agree on a basic principle: Critical decisions underlying our governance shouldn’t be withheld from the governed.” (The Washington Post, October 3, 2021, by the Editorial Board)

OLC’s lack of transparency surfaced last May when a federal judge ordered the Justice Department to release an OLC memo that allowed former President Donald Trump say he was exonerated by the Mueller probe. During the George W. Bush administration, the OLC provided justifications for torturing terror suspects and spying on electronic communications without a warrant. (The Hill, May 6, 2021, by Harper Neidig and Rebecca Beitsch)

For related FAC coverage, click here, here, and here.

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