The FBI repeatedly failed to follow the strict guidelines of the Patriot Act when its agents took advantage of a new provision allowing the FBI to obtain phone and financial records without a court order, according to a report to be made public Friday by the Justice Department's Inspector General.
The report, in classified and unclassified versions, remains closely held, but Washington officials who have seen it tell ABC News it documents "numerous lapses" and describe it as "scathing" and "not a pretty picture for the FBI."
FBI Director Robert Mueller is scheduled to brief Congress on the report at noon.
The officials say the inspector general found the FBI underreported by at least 20 percent the use of the controversial provision, known as National Security Letters, NSLs, in required disclosures to Congress.Read more...
Lest we forget President Bush issued one of those infamous signing statements back in February 2006 when he signed the Patriot Act reauthorization, effectively nullifying the provisions Congress agreed upon so that these kinds of abuses wouldn't occur. Will that be their legal defense? I think so.
When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.