So Where’s That OPR Report?
Less than two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder testified that the long-awaited report on the ethics of Bush-era Justice Department lawyers who sanctioned torture and other abuses would be released by the end of November.
So where is it?
The report, prepared by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, reviews the conduct of former Office of Legal Counsel lawyers John Yoo, Steven Bradbury and Jay Bybee, who is now a federal court of appeals judge. All three helped produce memos that approved treatment of detainees that Holder has said is clearly illegal. Enough information has been leaked already that we know that its earlier versions, at least, were highly critical of the OLC attorneys’ work and could lead to disciplinary actions against the lawyers by state bar associations. If the review finds that the lawyers deliberately slanted their analysis of the law to reach a desired conclusion, it could also renew calls for their prosecution.
By the end of the day on Monday, the Department of Justice still had not produced the promised report.
In June, Holder similarly said that the report would be released “in a matter of weeks.” That was almost six months ago.