Office of Legal Counsel

4 Stories

DOJ: No Senate Confirmation, No Problem for Whitaker

Memo citing past precedent notes he's 'unquestionably' authorized to lead

(Newser) - Matthew Whitaker is "unquestionably" authorized to lead the Justice Department despite his lack of Senate confirmation. That's the opinion of Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the department's Office of Legal Counsel, who's penned a 20-page memo in support of Whitaker's appointment as acting attorney... More »

Senators Clash With CIA Nominee Over Torture

Udall demands classified report

(Newser) - The Senate Intelligence Committee has formally requested a classified internal CIA study on its torture program, which lawmakers believe is deeply unflattering, the New York Times reports. Mark Udall revealed the existence of the report yesterday during a prickly hearing with Caroline Krass, President Obama's nominee for CIA general... More »

Obama Legal Team Can't Decide on Detention Rules

Administration dodges big question in War on Terror

(Newser) - The Obama administration’s legal team can’t decide who it can and can’t detain indefinitely without trial, with interviews and legal briefs revealing deep internal disagreement. President Obama doesn’t subscribe to George W. Bush’s view of presidential detention powers as essentially unlimited, so his Justice Department... More »

Bybee Rues Signature on Torture Memos

Friends say he regrets way the legal opinions were used

(Newser) - Jay Bybee has told friends and colleagues that he regrets his role as one of the authors of the so-called torture memos, the Washington Post reports. Most notably, Bybee, who's now a federal judge, signed off on the 2002 memo that authorized waterboarding. "I've heard him express regret at... More »

4 Stories