Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Former DOJ Official (John) Yoo Refuses to Testify

Source: ABC News

Former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, who wrote the controversial legal memos authorizing harsh interrogation programs, will not testify voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee -- paving the way for a possible subpoena and showdown over Executive Privilege. Yoo's lawyer has just informed House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers that he would not appear.

In a letter, Yoo's lawyer told Conyers he was "not authorized" by 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," Yoo's lawyer, John C. Millian, wrote in a letter to Conyers.

Millian also noted that Yoo was involved in a lawsuit over the legal memos and that it would "not be appropriate" for him to testify while the litigation was pending.

Conyers invited Yoo to testify before the committee May 6th about the memos. He told Yoo the committee was prepared to subpoena him if he declined to appear voluntarily. Today's letter -- and DOJ's position that Yoo was not authorized to answer Conyers' questions -- is likely to lead to that next step...[Open in new window]


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