Gonzales Repeats False 'Clinton Did It Too' Wiretap Claim

Gonzales Repeats False 'Clinton Did It Too' Wiretap Claim
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, joined Larry King last night to go after Al Gore. (Transcript)
Gonzales: I would say that with respect to comments by the former vice president it’s my understanding that during the Clinton administration there was activity regarding the physical searches without warrants, Aldrich Ames as an example.

I can also say that it’s my understanding that the deputy attorney general testified before Congress that the president does have the inherent authority under the Constitution to engage in physical searches without a warrant and so those would certainly seem to be inconsistent with what the former vice president was saying today.

icon Download -WMP icon Download -QT (hat tip David Edwards for the video)

James Risen refutes his claim:

RISEN: There was a--he mentioned the Aldrich Ames case in I think it was 1994 or '93 while the investigation of Aldrich Ames, who was a Soviet spy, was ongoing. Janet Reno authorized a physical search of Ames' house without a search warrant.

Under the FISA -- under the rules at that time the attorney general could authorize a warrantless physical search of a house. After the Ames case, it's my understanding that Congress changed that and closed that loophole and so that now that kind of search couldn't be done under the law.

Think Progress has more: "The issue with the Bush’s warrantless domestic wiretapping program is that it violates a federal criminal law...read on


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