York Clinging To Gorelick Myth

Yesterday we wrote:

Neither Gorelick or the Clinton administration ever argued that president’s inherent “authority” allowed him to ignore FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act].

This morning, The National Review’s Byron York responded:

The Center’s position appears contradicted not only by Gorelick’s testimony but by a statement she made to Legal Times in November 1994, several months after her testimony, in which she said, “Our seeking legislation in no way should suggest that we do not believe we have inherent authority.”

Actually, our argument is perfectly consistent with Gorelick’s statements. Both her testimony and in the Legal Times quote, were about physical searches. In 1994, the FISA did not cover physical searches. She was explaining what the President’s authority was in the absence of any congressional statute. She wasn’t arguing that the President had the authority to ignore FISA.


In 1995, with President Clinton’s signature, FISA was amended to include physical searches. That law prohibited warrantless domestic physical searches. No one in the Clinton administration, including Gorelick, ever argued that the administration could ignore the law, before or after it was amended.