A draft version of the Justice Department's internal investigation of Bush Administration lawyers who wrote memos authorizing torture has concluded that at least two of them are guilty of significant misconduct, two sources with direct knowledge of the draft said.
The Associated Press reported tonight that the draft version of the report does not recommend criminal charges against lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee. But the sources said that the report lays out, in exquisite detail, a significant number of exchanges between the lawyers and the White House as several of the memos were being crafted. The report includes excerpts from internal memoranda and e-mail messages.
Ostensibly, Yoo, an attorney for the Office of Legal Counsel and Bybee, that section's chief, were tasked by Attorney General John Ashcroft with determining whether so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" violated U.S. law and treaty obligations. But a draft report, prepared by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Review, suggests that, at the direction of the White House, the OLC worked to justify a policy that had already been determined and did not begin their inquiry from a neutral position.
It is not clear -- and sources would not say -- who in the White House communicated with the two lawyers about the memos, and it is not clear whether Yoo or Bybee felt unduly pressured to provide a legal framework for a decision already made by senior administration officials.