Department Of Justice Finds That Its Torture Lawyers Engaged In Professional Misconduct By Advocating Torture During The Bush Administration
DisbarTortureLawyers Campaign To File OPR Report Today To Supplement Fifteen Disbarment Complaints
Late Friday, the Department of Justice issued its long-awaited report on the actions of the DOJ lawyers who authored the infamous legal memos authorizing torture. The report consists of two parts: the first is a 300-page report from the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility finding that the attorneys, specifically John Yoo and Jay Bybee, engaged in “professional misconduct.” The second is a 69-page cover letter from career DOJ staffer David Margolis finding that the lawyers exercised “poor judgment.” The OPR finding would under normal circumstances require transmittal to the state bar for disciplinary proceedings. However, Mr. Margolis, a 17-year employee of the DoJ who was in a supervisory position when the legal memos were written, has specifically refused to allow the OPR report to be transmitted. However, he did state that “[t]he bar associations in the District of Columbia or Pennsylvania can choose to take up this matter, but the Department will make no referral.”
Today, DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign attorney Kevin Zeese will file the DOJ/OPR findings with the various state bar disciplinary committees. These committees are already reviewing the complaints he filed last summer against 15 of the most culpable torture lawyers as part of a a campaign to ensure accountability for their heinous actions. He is asking that disbarment proceedings proceed quickly in light of these new reports.
“The Department of Justice, through the actions of DOJ attorney David Margolis, wants to keep the OPR report from reaching the various disciplinary committees that have active disbarment complaints pending,” said attorney and campaign spokesperson Kevin Zeese. “Fortunately, we are not bound by the DOJ’s obstructions, and will therefore be filing the OPR report with the disciplinary boards today. And of course, as Mr. Margolis admits, those boards are required to make an independent determination of the information and evidence in the report. Moreover, even if the boards only considered Margolis’ finding of “poor judgment,” they can still order disbarment. But in combination with the OPR report and all the other overwhelming information we have already provided, we believe that the boards will find that the torture attorneys, such as John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, William Haynes, Alberto Gonzales and Stephen Bradbury, must be disbarred.”
DisbarTortureLawyers will also be taking the following actions in the coming weeks:
* Working with the House and Senate to hold hearings on torture and whether political pressure entered into the Margolis decision
* Launching a campaign for lawyers in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Jay Bybee is a judge, to file to disqualify him from any cases to which he is assigned
* Working with jurisdictions outside the U.S. to indict the torture lawyers and others like Dick Cheney for violating the UN Convention Against Torture
* Increasing pressure for torture accountability through an aggressive media campaign
* Seeking legal counsel to file a Writ of Mandamus to compel prosecution of torturers as required by the UN Convention Against Torture
* Teaming with even more organizations to help multiply the effect of its work
The campaign urges organizations and individuals to sign on to the campaign at www.disbartorturelawyers.com.
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