John Yoo

Deputy Assistant General Counsel
Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice

A former law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, John Yoo was named a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in June 2001. An expert in presidential war powers, he became a key member of the secretive group of Administration lawyers who called themselves the "War Council." Unlike the others, Yoo's position in the Justice Department gave him the authority to issue legal opinions that were binding through the executive branch, and he did so - including the now-infamous "torture memo" of August 2002. Yoo is now a tenured professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, where he first joined the faculty in 1993.

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