Looks like the impeachment fire surrounding Ninth Circuit Judge Jay Bybee is going to be deprived a lot of oxygen.
According to Newsweek, a long awaited Justice Department report on the so-called torture memos — which Bybee signed when he worked for the Bush Administration — will say that Bybee and Berkeley Law Professor John Yoo did not commit professional misconduct. Rather, the report concluded that Bybee and Yoo exercised “poor judgment.”
Bybee has been lambasted over his role in approving the memos, and he himself has expressed mixed feelings about his time in the Justice Department, as explored in my profile of the judge last year (free reg. req.). The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility originally recommended that the two lawyers be referred to disciplinary authorities, but longtime career prosecutor David Margolis downgraded that prescription, Newsweek reported.
No predictions from the magazine about when the full report will be released, but if the age-old Washington DC ‘soften the ground’ leaks are any measure (the Post had more details over the weekend), we won’t be waiting too much longer.