Justice Department Watchdog Complains He's Being Blocked

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog said Thursday that his independence has been undermined by the department’s refusal to let him see information derived from wiretaps or National Security letters without special permission.

The department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a 68-page opinion Thursday saying that Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’s office should not be granted access to several different kinds of typically confidential material unless there is a clear law-enforcement or counterintelligence purpose – and that the department’s lawyers, not the inspector general’s, would make that determination.

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