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 consisted of two parts: the first is a 300-page report from the DoJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluding that the attorneys, specifically John Yoo and Jay Bybee, engaged in “professional misconduct.” The second is a 69-page cover letter from career Associate Deputy Attorney General 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.
The good news: We can. And we will.
On Monday, February 22, our DisbarTortureLawyers.com campaign attorney will file the DoJ/OPR findings with the various state bar disciplinary committees. These committees are already reviewing the complaints we filed last summer against 15 of the most culpable torture lawyers as part of our work to ensure accountability for their heinous actions. We are asking that disbarment proceedings proceed quickly in light of these reports.
We 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 our work
If 1,000 of our members donate to this campaign, we can really push this issue forward and hold these torture lawyers accountable.
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