Tags: George W. Bush | NSA/Surveillance | comey | ready | resign | bush | warrantless

Comey: I Was Prepared to Resign Over Warrantless Surveillance

Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 10:21 PM

FBI Director James Comey says that when he was deputy attorney general in 2004, he and then-FBI Director Robert Mueller were willing to resign when the George W. Bush administration attempted to reauthorize top-secret warrantless surveillance of foreign terrorists.

In an interview aired Sunday on "60 Minutes," Comey said that as deputy attorney general, he was asked to sign off on the package since Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized.

Story continues below video.



But Comey told "60 Minutes" that "significant aspects" of the program were against the law. He wasn't more specific because the program still is top secret.

White House Chief of Staff Andy Card then said he would go to Ashcroft's hospital room to get his signature. Comey raced there and beat Card and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales.

Card and Gonzales pleaded their case, but Ashcroft pointed to Comey, and said, "There's the attorney general."

Members of the Bush White House then attempted to get the authorization another way, but Comey and Mueller met with Bush, letting him know they both intended to resign if the order were instituted.

Bush gave in, and the rules were amended to Comey and Mueller's satisfaction.

"Wasn't it your responsibility to support the president?" CBS' Scott Pelley asked Comey.

"No," Comey responded. "I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Comey keeps a copy of the authorization given by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to spy on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. The order was illegal, Comey says, and had no time frame.

He said he uses the memo to remind himself of the limits on his authority.

"I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power," Comey said. "You cannot trust people in power. The founders knew that. That's why they divided power among three branches, to set interest against interest."

Related Stories:






© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsmax-Tv
FBI Director James Comey says that when he was deputy attorney general in 2004, he and then-FBI Director Robert Mueller were willing to resign when the George W. Bush administration attempted to reauthorize top-secret warrantless surveillance of foreign terrorists.
comey, ready, resign, bush, warrantless, surveillance
342
2014-21-12
Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 10:21 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved