Special provisions concerning the Department of Justice
Notwithstanding the last two sentences of section 3(a), the Inspector General shall be under the authority, direction, and control of the Attorney General with respect to audits or investigations, or the issuance of subpoenas, which require access to sensitive information concerning—
ongoing civil or criminal investigations or proceedings;
the identity of confidential sources, including protected witnesses;
intelligence or counterintelligence matters; or
other matters the disclosure of which would constitute a serious threat to national security.
With respect to the information described under paragraph (1), the Attorney General may prohibit the Inspector General from carrying out or completing any audit or investigation, from accessing information described in paragraph (1), or from issuing any subpoena, after such Inspector General has decided to initiate, carry out, or complete such audit or investigation, access such information, or to issue such subpoena, if the Attorney General determines that such prohibition is necessary to prevent the disclosure of any information described under paragraph (1) or to prevent the significant impairment to the national interests of the United States.
If the Attorney General exercises any power under paragraph (1) or (2), the Attorney General shall notify the Inspector General in writing stating the reasons for such exercise. Within 30 days after receipt of any such notice, the Inspector General shall transmit a copy of such notice to the Committees on Governmental Affairs and Judiciary of the Senate and the Committees on Government Operations and Judiciary of the House of Representatives, and to other appropriate committees or subcommittees of the Congress.
In carrying out the duties and responsibilities specified in this Act, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice—
may initiate, conduct and supervise such audits and investigations in the Department of Justice as the Inspector General considers appropriate;
except as specified in subsection (a) and paragraph (3), may investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by an employee of the Department of Justice, or may, in the discretion of the Inspector General, refer such allegations to the Office of Professional Responsibility or the internal affairs office of the appropriate component of the Department of Justice;
shall refer to the Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department of Justice, allegations of misconduct involving Department attorneys, investigators, or law enforcement personnel, where the allegations relate to the exercise of the authority of an attorney to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice, except that no such referral shall be made if the attorney is employed in the Office of Professional Responsibility;
may investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by a person who is the head of any agency or component of the Department of Justice; and
shall forward the results of any investigation conducted under paragraph (4), along with any appropriate recommendation for disciplinary action, to the Attorney General.
Any report required to be transmitted by the Attorney General to the appropriate committees or subcommittees of the Congress under section 5(d) shall also be transmitted, within the seven-day period specified under such section, to the Committees on the Judiciary and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committees on the Judiciary and Government Operations of the House of Representatives.
The Attorney General shall ensure by regulation that any component of the Department of Justice receiving a nonfrivolous allegation of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by an employee of the Department of Justice, except with respect to allegations described in subsection (b)(3), shall report that information to the Inspector General.
(Pub. L. 95–452, § 8E, formerly § 8D, as added Pub. L. 100–504, title I, § 102(f), Oct. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 2520; renumbered § 8E, Pub. L. 103–204, § 23(a)(3), Dec. 17, 1993, 107 Stat. 2408; Pub. L. 107–273, div. A, title III, § 308, Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1784; Pub. L. 114–317, §§ 6(3), 7(d)(3)(D), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1604, 1606.)