Constitutional Law

DOJ Plans No Sanction of Yoo and Bybee Over Terrorism Memos

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In an about-face from earlier internal recommendations that two former Department of Justice lawyers be pursued for alleged ethics violations concerning their authorship of legal memoranda blessing controversial interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects, the DOJ has declined to adopt findings by the Office of Professional Responsibility that John Yoo and Jay Bybee committed professional misconduct

While the two former Bush administration lawyers “exercised poor judgment” in approving waterboarding of suspects and other methods that critics consider tantamount to torture, they will not be disciplined the DOJ says in correspondence provided today to federal lawmakers, reports the Washington Post.

Both of the lawyers have rebutted the OPR’s ethics report in detail. Yoo is now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Bybee is a federal appeals court judge.

Additional coverage: “Waterboarding is Torture—and Ineffective, Military Witnesses Tell House Panel” “Ex-DOJ Lawyer Rips ‘Double Standard’ in Ethics Probe of Bradbury, Bybee & Yoo” “Liberal Group Files Ethics Complaints Against Three Ex-AGs” “DOJ Report Won’t Trigger Ethics Referral for Authors of Terrorism Memos”

Bloomberg: “Interrogation Memo Authors Shouldn’t Be Punished, Report Says”

Reuters: “Bush lawyers criticized on interrogation advice”

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