Feds Want Warrantless Spying Loss Overturned, Saying the Law Can’t Touch Them
The Obama administration is set to argue to a federal appeals court Friday that the government may breach, with impunity, domestic spying laws adopted in the wake of President Richard M. Nixon’s Watergate scandal.
The case tests whether Americans may seek recourse or monetary damages when a sitting U.S. president bypasses Congress’s ban on warrantless spying on Americans — in this instance when President George W. Bush authorized his secret, warrantless domestic spying program in the aftermath of the September 2001 terror attacks.
A federal judge found in 2010 that two American lawyers’ telephone conversations with their clients in Saudi Arabia in 2004 were siphoned to the National Security Agency without warrants. The allegations were initially based on a classified document the government accidentally mailed to the former al-Haramain Islamic Foundation lawyers.