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A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday revealed that the Justice Department's internal probe of John Yoo and Jay Bybee was hampered by some missing emails from Yoo.  Now Patrick Leahy wants to know where they are.

The missing e-mails raise serious questions about whether the probe had all relevant information, Leahy said.

The inquiry concluded the two lawyers showed poor judgment and provided significantly flawed advice, but it ruled they committed no misconduct and stopped short of referring their actions to state bar authorities for possible discipline. However, Justice's internal investigators said their probe was hampered by the loss of Yoo's e-mail records, and those of another attorney.

The investigators said that somehow, nearly all of Yoo's email records had been deleted and weren't recoverable.  Also missing are some 2002 emails from David Philbin, a Justice lawyer who raised concerns about Yoo and Bybee's legal advice.  

The implications of this are huge, in my mind.  This is serious business; federal law requires the executive branch to preserve all of its emails.  So if it can be determined that Justice didn't have access to all the information it needed, it could open up quite a can of worms.

Pass the popcorn--this could get very interesting, to say the least.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Sat Feb 27, 2010 at 09:05 AM PST.

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