Legal Ethics

Ex-DOJ Lawyer Rips 'Double Standard' in Ethics Probe of Bradbury, Bybee & Yoo

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A former senior lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice read with interest news that three Office of Legal Counsel attorneys in a high-profile ethical investigation were offered a routine opportunity to review allegations made against them in a draft report.

That so-called routine opportunity was provided to Steven Bradbury, Jay Bybee and John Yoo by the Office of Professional Responsibility concerning their work on memos approving the use of harsh interrogation methods on terrorism detainees. Yet it was never offered to her when she was investigated for doing her job as a DOJ lawyer in a terrorism-related case, writes Jesselyn Radack today in the Daily Kos.

Nor is it standard OPR procedure, she contends, decrying what she describes as a “blatant double standard” applied to Bradbury, Bybee and Yoo.

“If OPR wants to live up to its lofty mission of ensuring ‘that Department of Justice attorneys perform their duties in accordance with the high professional standards expected of the Nation’s principal law enforcement agency,’ ” she writes, “it can start with itself.”

Related coverage:

Washington Independent: “DOJ Doesn’t Let ‘War on Terror’ Whistleblowers Comment on Professionalism Reports” “Former Bush Officials Seek Changes in DOJ Report Critical of Bybee and Yoo”

New York Times: “Interrogation Memos: Inquiry Suggests No Charges”

National Law Journal: “New OPR Chief Predicts More Transparency in Attorney Investigations” (2008): “Ex-DOJ Lawyer: Politics in Ashcroft Justice Department Led to Ouster”

Updated on April 7 to add link to subsequent National Law Journal article.

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