Last week Senate confirmation hearings began for Loretta Lynch. She's President Obama’s nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. In light of the hearings, Pitt Law Professor David Harris talks about the role and responsibilities of the office of the Attorney General.
Harris first explains that the Attorney General is the top lawyer for the US government. Their role is to advise all of the departments of the executive branch, including the office of the President. He or she is also the administrator and chief of the US Justice Department. Harris says while the AG serves as a lawyer for the office of the President, it's not the same as representing the President. He offers Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon as examples.
"There has to be, there should be a separation between the white house and the political interests of the president," says Harris, which is why Janet Reno did not represent Bill Clinton in his impeachment hearing.
Harris says the office of the Attorney General has existed pretty much from the start of the nation in 1789, and the Justice Department was created in 1870. Read more at the Department of Justice website.