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Office of Legal Counsel

DOJ Releases Legal Memo That Approved Trump's Refugee Ban

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 02.02.2017 | Politics

WASHINGTON ― The Justice Department on Thursday released a memo from the Office of Legal Counsel that signed off on President Donald Trump’s execu...

Justice Department Said Trump’s Refugee Ban Is Legal. They Didn’t Say It Was A Good Idea.

The Huffington Post | Michael McAuliff | Posted 01.30.2017 | Politics

WASHINGTON ― Just what the hell is the Justice Department doing while President Donald Trump is churning out chaos-inspiring executive orders, Sen. ...

Obama Shut Out Eric Holder From His Decision To Kill Bin Laden

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 11.01.2015 | Politics

The law and the country's chief law enforcer no longer matter when it comes to legality of the war on terror. A handful of top government and military...

Immigration Reform, Lawful Authority and the Office of Legal Counsel

Christopher H. Schroeder | Posted 01.21.2015 | Politics
Christopher H. Schroeder

The reaction to the President's announcement from his critics has been swift and loud. Regrettably, they have focused nearly entirely on how the president has taken these actions, ignoring entirely any engagement on the merits of the steps taken.

A New AUMF: What Is the Obama Administration Afraid of?

Daniel R. DePetris | Posted 11.16.2014 | Politics
Daniel R. DePetris

Either the president needs some new faces in the Office of Legal Counsel, or his team needs to do what many of his allies on Capitol Hill are calling for: Ask Congress to grant new statutory authority for the military campaign against ISIL in both Iraq and Syria. What is the administration afraid of?

Ryan J. Reilly

House Republicans Demand DOJ Platinum Coin Option Memo | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee have asked the Justice Department to turn over a memo that spells out the Obama ad...

Ryan J. Reilly

The Obama Administration Took The Platinum Coin Option More Seriously Than It Let On | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 12.03.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration was serious enough about manufacturing a high-value platinum coin to avert a congressional fight over the debt ...

Matt Sledge

Obama Criticized For Secret Spying And Drone Laws | Matt Sledge | Posted 10.23.2013 | Politics

NEW YORK -- A coalition of human rights and journalism groups sent a letter on Tuesday to President Barack Obama asking him to curb his administration...

Ryan J. Reilly

Obama DOJ Still Won't Explain Opposition To 14th Amendment Option | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 12.03.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is still refusing to disclose what its legal team concluded about the 14th Amendment option, which many progres...

Matt Sledge

Obama Wants To Keep Another DOJ Memo Secret | Matt Sledge | Posted 05.14.2013 | Politics

NEW YORK -- The legal basis for the FBI's past use of emergency requests to obtain telephone records should be kept secret, the Justice Department sai...

WATCH: 'My Village Was Droned,' Yemeni Man Tells Senate

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 04.24.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A Yemeni man named Farea al-Muslimi told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday that a U.S. drone strike on his small town of W...

Patrick Leahy Tells Eric Holder Senate Judiciary May Subpoena Targeted Killing Memos

Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 05.06.2013 | Politics
Ryan J. Reilly

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee may subpoena the memos that the Office of Legal Counsel prepared on the Obama administration's targeted k...

Ryan J. Reilly

Eric Holder: Drone Strike To Kill U.S. Citizen On American Soil Legal, Hypothetically | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 03.05.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration believes it could technically use military force to kill an American on U.S. soil in an "extraordinary circumst...

Ryan J. Reilly

White House To Provide Classified Info On Drones, Feinstein Says | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 03.05.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has agreed to provide the Senate Intelligence Committee access to all opinions authored by the Justice Departme...

Preston Maddock

Subpoenaing Drone Memos Has 'Bipartisan Interest' | Preston Maddock | Posted 02.27.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- There is "bipartisan interest" within the House Judiciary Committee in subpoenaing the Justice Department's legal memos that justify the...

Ryan J. Reilly

Obama DOJ Won't Even Disclose Number Of Classified Memos | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 02.25.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Just how many classified opinions has the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel issued since President Barack Obama took office f...

Ryan J. Reilly

Obama Hasn't Disclosed Seven Other Targeted-Killing Memos | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 02.13.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office revealed Wednesday that the Obama administration has yet to show members of the Senate Select Committee o...

Ryan J. Reilly

Obama Drones Memo Disclosure Could Change FOIA Cases | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 02.12.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Until last week, the Obama administration's official position was that it had never technically acknowledged the existence of a memo fro...

Jack Goldsmith: The Real Problem With The Drones Strikes Is The Legal Structure

The Huffington Post | Jon Ward | Posted 02.12.2013 | Politics

If you were around for George W. Bush's presidency, you will remember Jack Goldsmith. He's the guy who tore up the Bush administration's "torture memo...

John Brennan: CIA Wouldn't Keep Congress 'In The Dark'

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 02.07.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- John Brennan told members of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he wouldn't keep them "in the dark" if he's confirmed as the n...

Stop Over-the-Top Attacks on the Office of Legal Counsel, and Focus on Governing

Caroline Fredrickson | Posted 04.03.2012 | Politics
Caroline Fredrickson

Please -- cut the hyperbole, senators, and get back to work.

OLC's Skillful Defense of President Obama's Recess Appointments and Its Possible Aftershocks

Peter M. Shane | Posted 03.14.2012 | Politics
Peter M. Shane

The Justice Department's release of on Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion regarding President Obama's recess appointments power is a welcome display of public accountability. However one analyzes the bottom line, the opinion is a model of the genre.

Libya and the War Powers Act: Reality Check for the Chief Exec

Rick Horowitz | Posted 08.21.2011 | Comedy
Rick Horowitz

[Deep inside a large white house, there is counseling...] "Do I have to lie down?" "Not at all, Mr. President! Not at all! Whatever is comfortable for you."

The White House Office of Legal Counsel's Rationale for Libyan War Is Positively Orwellian

Rep. Dennis Kucinich | Posted 06.08.2011 | Politics
Rep. Dennis Kucinich

The Obama administration's characterization of the use of force in Libya solely as a humanitarian intervention cannot hide the reality of what war is. The attempt to assert that this is not a war does violence to the English language.

Jason Linkins

Dawn Johnsen's Usefulness As A Stalking Horse For Principles Is Apparently Over | Jason Linkins | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics

Surprise! Last Friday, the White House announced that Dawn Johnsen had withdrawn her nomination. The announcement was pretty anodyne, but I'm guessing that maybe Johnsen withdrew in abject disgust.