Attorney General

DOJ Will Pay Yoo’s Legal Tab, But Its Lawyers Won’t Handle the Case


Former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo plans to appeal a ruling in a suit claiming his legal memos led to torture, but he won’t be represented by government lawyers.

The Justice Department will drop its defense of Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, according to a court document cited by the San Francisco Chronicle. Yoo is appealing a ruling that he can be sued for overseeing a policy that allegedly violated the rights of Jose Padilla, held as an enemy combatant before being convicted of conspiring to aid terrorists.

Yoo will be represented by private lawyers, according to the court filings, which did not name the new counsel. Bloomberg News says the legal bill will be paid by the government.

Padilla claims he was subjected to extreme temperatures, confined in painful positions and threatened with death. He is blaming Yoo’s legal memos approving harsh interrogations.

Yoo filed his appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco.

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