David Addington, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, and John Yoo, a former DOJ official who helped draft a controversial 2002 memo authorizing harsh interrogation technigues on detainees, offered little new information during questioning by the House Judiciary Committee.
Addington, for instance, denied a Vanity Fair report that he told U.S. interrogators at Guantanomo Bay to do "whatever needed to be done" to al Qaeda detainees in order to extract information.
"Yes, I do deny it," Addington said in response to a question from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). "That quote is wrong."
Addington admitted to being more involved in establishing CIA interrogation policy rather than Pentagon (Guantanomo comes under the Defense Department).
Addington also suggested he had little role in drafting the Aug. 2002 DOJ memo, which came out of the Office of Legal Counsel, except being told that Yoo was working on the memo.
Yoo has also denied being the primary author of that memo, which has now been withdrawn.
In addition, Addington said he was not aware of Cabinet-level talks within the Bush administration to discuss what interrogation techniques could be used on detainees. ABC News first reported on those discussions.
Addington was combative and scornful of some of the questioners. For instance, after Wasserman Schultz said she did not believe his description of his role in setting interrogation policy, Addington responded, "Is there a question pending, maam?"
Yoo was unintentionally funny some occassions, refusing to tell Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) what the definition of the word "implement" meant. Yoo has described his role as a lawyer advising a client, in this case the CIA, NSA and other federal agencies, not as a policymaker.
Yoo has also repeatedly said that he has been told by the Justice Dept. that he cannot answer specifics of what went on within the Bush administration regarding debates over interrogation policy. Yoo has cited attorney-client privilege, or said he would be forced to divulge classified information in order to respond. Democrats have tried to pin Yoo down several times on what privilege he is attempting to assert.
"I don't have the right to go beyond those instructions," Yoo told doubtful Democrats.
UPDATE: Think Progress has some video of Conyers and Yoo debating whether a president could order someone buried alive.