In the summer of 2002, when the Justice Department’s now-infamous “torture memos” were being drafted, one DOJ lawyer told his boss, Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, to eliminate a section claiming broad commander-in-chief powers, according to a long-awaited departmental ethics report released Friday.
Bybee, who is now on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, had final decision-making authority over the memos. And Patrick Philbin, now a Kirkland & Ellis partner, told Bybee that the section on presidential authority “was aggressive and went beyond what OLC had previously said about executive power,” according to the report.
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