Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey witnessed a despicable event. Andrew Card and Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez tried to get then Attorney General John Ashcroft to sign approval to reauthorize the warrantless spying program while critically ill in a hospital bed. Regarding the specific spying program, James Comey said:
"We had concerns as to our ability to certify it's legality.". . . "The domestic spying by the National Security Agency continued for several weeks without Justice approval."The ghastly thing about this event was, as the witness James Comey describes:
" I was very upset, I was angry. I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man."John Ashcroft was an unlikely hero that day. He refused to sign and with all the strength he could muster, told them why he refused, why the program was illegal.
The bottom line here is that by witness James Comey's account, these men got in to see critically ill Ashcroft with one phone call from the White House, and Comey said:
"I have some recollection that the call was from the president himself."
- More at Thinkprogress
- See the stunning testimony by Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey
- This is just the tip of the iceberg, Comey is testifying on the attorney firing scandal
- UPDATE: NYT editorial suggests Bush responsible for authorizing illegal spying
- UPDATE II: from Crooks and Liars -- George Washington University Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley says that the latest NSA warrantless wiretapping revelations – wherein the administration knowingly broke the law and continued spying on American citizens after top DoJ officials refused to certify the legality of the program — make this a "clear impeachable offense" "The problem comes down to the failure of Congress to deal with what is a very ugly and unfortunate fact: this would be a clear impeachable offense." Under FISA, spying on American citizens on American soil without a warrant is a felony.
- UPDATE III: Bush refuses to answer questions on the Comey allegations.