Bush OLC Lawyers Lobby to Soften OPR Report
By Andrew Ramonas | May 5, 2009 3:55 pm

Former members of the Bush administration are lobbying the Justice Department to soften the blow of an Office of Professional Responsibility report critical of their role authoring legal opinions that sanctioned brutal interrogations, The Washington Post reported this afternoon.

Attorneys Maureen Mahoney and Miguel Estrada, who represent ex-Office of Legal Counsel lawyers Jay Bybee and John Yoo, have enlisted former Bush officials to lobby the Obama administration to soften the ethics report, which reportedly recommends bar association action against the lawyers for writing the legal memos on interrogation,  the Post said. The paper did not name the Bush officials who’ve been asked to intercede.

According to Post reporter Carrie Johnson, an earlier draft of the long-awaited OPR report did not make disciplinary recommendations against the last Bush OLC head, Steven G. Bradbury. But the current draft apparently does. As Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff first reported, then-Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and then-Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip pressed hard for the incoming Obama administration to put the torture memos in the context of a time of enormous fear about a second terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Johnson says the Mukasey-Filip letter ran 14 pages long.

We previously reported that Yoo, Bybee and Bradbury missed a Monday deadline to respond to a draft of the report. The Justice Department has yet to say when it will release the report.

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