Justice Department to Release Ethics Report on Bush OLC Lawyers in ‘Matter of Weeks’
Asked this morning when the Justice Department plans to release the highly-anticipated report by its internal ethics office regarding the conduct and legal conclusions of Bush administration Office of Legal Counsel lawyers, such as John Yoo and Steven Bradbury, Holder said they are “pretty close to getting their report finalized,” and “they are making changes to the report in light of the contentions in the responses they examined.”
That the Justice Department sought responses from the subjects of the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility report and is now changing the report as a result has been a source of controversy in the past, particularly from Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
They both pressed Holder again today at the Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, asking Holder why it’s taken so long for the report to be finalized and released.
Holder responded: “My hope is to share as much of that report as I can with members of congress and the public. There are some potentially classified parts of that report, which we will work to declassify.” Holder promised to release the report “in a matter of weeks. They’re pretty close to the end.”
He added, though, that there will then be a “declassification process” that could further delay the report’s release. “As people look at the work that the OPR has done I’d like them to have the full range of information that OPR considered,” Holder said. “That’s why I think declassification of the report is so important. I wouldn’t want to put an incomplete report in the public.”