Marty Lederman reports
Comey testified as follows:from msnbc Countdown, Keith with Jonathan Turley, constitutional law expert, George Washington Uuniversity:
(i) that he, OLC and the AG concluded that the NSA program was not legally defensible, i.e., that it violated FISA and that the Article II argument OLC had previously approved was not an adequate justification (a conclusion prompted by the New AAG, Jack Goldsmith, having undertaken a systematic review of OLC's previous legal opinions regarding the Commander in Chief's powers);
(ii) that the White House nevertheless continued with the program anyway, despite DOJ's judgment that it was unlawful;
(iii) that Comey, Ashcroft, the head of the FBI (Robert Mueller) and several other DOJ officials therefore threatened to resign;
(iv) that the White House accordingly -- one day later -- asked DOJ to figure out a way the program could be changed to bring it into compliance with the law (presumably on the AUMF authorizaton theory); and
(v) that OLC thereafter did develop proposed amendments to the program over the subsequent two or three weeks, which were eventually implemented.
The program continued in the interim, even after DOJ concluded that it was unlawful.
It‘s also been reported that the president personally killed a Justice Department internal probe into all this, and he did so by denying the investigators security clearance. Given Comey‘s testimony appears to implicate Mr. Bush himself now in the implementation of this wiretap program, and we also know U.S. Justice Department considered the program illegal, is this meeting the standards for appointing an independent counsel, at minimum, at this point?
Oh, I think that long ago we passed that line. When the Congress was under the control of the Republicans, the Democrats couldn‘t even get a committee hearing or room. I was called to the first hearing on this by John Conyers. We had to meet in the basement because they wouldn‘t open up the doors to the committee room.
So long ago, there should have been an independent or special counsel.
But 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. I don‘t know of a more clear potential charge of impeachment within the modern presidency. I mean, this law makes it a crime to order domestic surveillance without a warrant. The president ordered it and renewed it 30 times. And now we find out that the very top of the Justice Department told him, This is unlawful.
I am Not a lawyer,
but I submit these acts are
abuse of presidential power for political gain
any accusations ever made against Bill Clinton's administration,
(even if we don't exclude
the false accusations that were paid for
by a coordinated smear campaign of the VRWC.)
Bu$hCo has conspired against the Constitution of The United States.
We find ourselves completely above and beyond the level of
High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
We have uncovered fascist Traitors.
Impeachment is no longer an option.
Now, it is mandatory.
emptywheel is at the Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald is of the essence (as always).
TPMmuckraker says it's the Program, St*p*d!
Digby questions What Could Possibly Be So Bad?
Swopa has the story board at Needlenose.
Comey, being a smart attorney, surely he has these movie rights, right?
When may we talk casting?
Swopa calls the consig a consig (Alberto Gonzales, White House Consigliere) at FDL and says it clearly here:
The President sent his men to Ashcroft’s hospital room to make an illegal end run around the Justice Department and its acting Attorney General. Acting AG Comey and the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — whose interpretations were binding throughout the Executive Branch — had determined and told the White House that the President’s warrantless surveillance program was unlawful. The President and his men knew that continuing the program was unlawful, but instead of obeying the law, they tried to end run the DoJ’s findings.
it's not the chirping of crickets.
it's almost the ticking sound one sometimes can hear from a time bomb.
it's that sizzling kind of sound that crackles from the gun powder twisted into the material of an incendiary fuse that has been ignited, that burning fuse sound, burning its way to that big powder keg loaded with dynamite.
lots of dynamite.
Gonzales is chicken feed at this point.
cheneySchrubCo are the orchestrators/traitors coordinating their campaign against the Rule of Law.
(no chickens have been hurt in the posting of this blog.)