An interesting report from Jan Crawford Greenburg:
News reports yesterday made much out of the fact that a draft report about the so-called "torture memos" doesn't recommend criminal prosecution for DOJ officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee, but instead would only refer them to their state bars for disciplinary proceedings.
Setting aside that my friend Mike Isikoff reported this back in February, the flurry of reporting is baffling for another reason: It appears John Yoo cannot be disciplined or disbarred for writing those memos, even if the Office of Professional Responsibility says it has evidence he should be.
That's because OPR's five-year investigation—carefully timed for release only as Bush was leaving the White House and Obama was coming in—dragged on too long. As a result of that timing, OPR blew the deadline for referring possible misconduct allegations against Yoo.
As for Bybee, Greenburg reports that neither DC nor Nevada has a comparable limitation period, "But how strange would it be to only refer Bybee, when his involvement largely amounted making a few edits and signing Yoo's legal work?"
John Yoo is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania. But the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board, which would investigate any complaints against him, imposes a four-year limitation for complaints.
Yoo wrote the memos in 2002 and 2003. This is 2009. You do the math.