Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yoo refuses to testify about torture memos


Former Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel lawyer John Yoo, who wrote controversial legal memos authorizing the administration’s torture programs, will not testify voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee, ABC reports, “paving the way for a possible subpoena and showdown over Executive Privilege. In a letter to Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), Yoo’s lawyer said his client was “not authorized” by the DOJ to discuss internal deliberations:

We have been expressly advised by the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice that Professor Yoo is not authorized to discuss before your Committee any specific deliberative communications, including the substance of comments on opinions or policy questions, or the confidential predecisional advice, recommendations or other positions taken by individuals or entities of the Executive Branch.

After a recent ABC report stating that Bush’s “principal” advisers directly authorized torture in 2002, Conyers also invited John Ashcroft, George Tenet, former Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin, Douglas Feith, and David Addington to testify.

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