Top DOJer Overruled Finding Of Misconduct For Torture Memo Authors
February 19, 2010
The Justice Department has released the long-awaited report on the torture memos and the conduct of Bush Administration lawyers including John Yoo.
While the final report by the department's internal watchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility, found that attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee engaged in professional misconduct, top DOJ official David Margolis overruled that finding in a memo to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Margolis, associate deputy attorney general, says in the 69-page memo that he did not find OPR's definition of misconduct persuasive. And he blocks the agency from referring the matter to state bar disciplinary authorities where Yoo and Bybee are now licensed. Yoo is a Berkeley law professor and Bybee is a federal judge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Margolis, the most senior nonpolitical official in the Justice Department, has served for many years, including during the Bush Administration.