One of the things that gets me about the president subverting FISA is that the govering rules of FISA): are so broad that there is almost no chance of a FISA request getting rejected. In fact, in 2004 the FISC approved 1758 out of 1758 requests. Talk about a rubber stamp.
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation FAQ about FISA. See especially the last paragraph where the AG can authorize immediate surveillance but "must as soon as practicable, but not more than 24 hours later seek judicial review."
That seems pretty clearly a prohibition against spying without the FISC overview.
Does FISA authorize surveillance without a court order?
Yes. In general, the Justice Department may engage in electronic surveillance to collect FII without a court order for periods up to one year. 50 U.S.C. ? 1802. There must be no 'substantial likelihood' that the intercepted communications include those to which a U.S. person is a party. ? 1802(a)(1)(B).
Such electronic surveillance must be certified by the Attorney General and then noticed to the Senate and House intelligence committees. ? 1802(a)(2). A copy of the certification must be filed with the FISC, where it remains sealed unless (a) an application for a warrant with respect to it is filed, or (b) the legality of the surveillance is challenged in another federal district court under ? 1806(f). ? 1802(a)(3). Common carriers must assist in the surveillance and maintain its secrecy. ? 1802(a)(4).
In emergencies, the Attorney General may authorize immediate surveillance but must 'as soon as practicable, but not more than twenty-four hours' later, seek judicial review of the emergency application. ? 1805(e)."
UPDATE: From Daily KosCheney's Latest Fib
"Indeed, from 1979 to 2002, the FISA court issued 15,264 surveillance warrants. Not a single warrant application was" rejected