We’re with Jeff Sessions

Sessions was correct to comply with these standards. Arguably, a referral to OPR, rather than the IG, may be warranted. Under federal law, OPR has jurisdiction over allegations of misconduct involving “the exercise of authority to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice.” There is no doubt, though, that evidence of official malfeasance must be referred to one of these offices. Given that OPR reports directly to the attorney general, while the IG reports to both the attorney general and Congress, Sessions may well have calculated that the IG referral would have more credibility.

Horowitz, the inspector general, has earned a reputation for probity and fact-driven independence. Although he was appointed to the post by President Obama, he is a career prosecutor who has been assigned to high-level positions by administrations of both parties, and he has won the respect of congressional Republicans — some of whom rushed to his defense after Trump’s outburst.

As for his report on Comey, it is not late. It is said to be imminent and was always expected to be filed in the March–April time frame. Now, even if the report turns out to be scrupulously fair and critical of the FBI’s performance, Trump has ensured that his detractors, and perhaps the subjects of the investigation, will claim it was influenced by political pressure from the White House.