The findings of the longtime career attorney represent the final position of the department, she said.
Friday evening, the Senate and House of Representatives Judiciary Committees posted drafts of the report and Bybee and Yoos responses.
The reports, written during the Bush administration, slammed Yoo for intentionally violating his duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective and candid legal advice.
Bybee, the ethics officials concluded, recklessly disregarded his duties as a Justice Department lawyer.
However, Margolis said he had to overturn those conclusions because he believed the ethics lawyers did not have a concrete standard for reaching them, although he added this decision should not be viewed as an endorsement of the legal work that underlies those memoranda.
In his response, Yoo called the original report an outrageous violation of OPRs own formal policies and Bybee echoed that criticism, saying OPR is not supposed to make up new standards to punish lawyers.
The report doesnt necessarily absolve the lawyers of all legal blame. Jose Padilla, the former enemy combatant later convicted of supporting terrorists, is suing Yoo, contending that his memos led to his abuse.
In addition, a prosecutor's examination of allegations of torture continues without word of whether he'll order a criminal investigation. Holder appointed special prosecutor John Durham to determine whether CIA officials or contractors should be criminally investigated for the alleged torture.
That probe is limited to determining whether interrogators used techniques that went beyond those authorized by the Bush administration, not aimed at those "who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance," Holder said.
Meanwhile, civil libertarians and human rights advocates who had hoped Obama would hold former Bush administration officials accountable continued to pressure the Obama White House to respond to revelations about interrogation practices.
Jameel Jaffer, director of the National Security Project for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the ACLU will call on the administration to expand the scope of the Justice Departments investigation.
As the OPR reports remind us, the core problem was not one of rogue interrogators but one of senior government officials who knowingly authorized the gravest crimes, he said.
To see the Justice Department documents go here.