The panelists at a recent Harvard Law School discussion about the power of special prosecutors agreed on this: There’s no flawless system that uses the executive branch to investigate the executive branch.

Give an independent counsel too much power and too little oversight, and investigations—unmoored from their foundation—will drag on for years. The flipside: Too much supervision by top brass at the U.S. Justice Department could give the perception that an independent investigation isn’t independent at all.

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