I was searching for the famous memo from J. Edgar Hoover signed by Robert Kennedy authorizing surveillance on Martin Luther King, Jr. and found it at this CBSNews.com site: FBI director on privacy, electronic surveillance. Comey really pumped himself up. See the following excerpt:
James Comey: I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power. The founders knew that. That's why they divided power among three branches, to set interest against interest.
Scott Pelley: With regard to privacy and civil liberties, what guarantee are you willing to give to the American people?
James Comey: The promise I've tried to honor my entire career, that the rule of law and the design of the founders, right, the oversight of courts and the oversight of Congress will be at the heart of what the FBI does. The way you'd want it to be.
Sounds good, but it it's just noise.
James Comey claimed to have the Hoover memo on his desk as a reminder of what not to do. That interview was back in 2014 when Comey was comfortable as FBI Director under the Obama administration. In the interview he recounted his heroism during the Bush administration when as deputy attorney general he threatened to resign rather than allow the reauthorization of warrantless surveillance targeting foreign terrorists. Huh. I wonder what changed since then.
If there was a lesson he learned from Hoover, it was to follow the law when it's convenient. And so to obtain surveillance authority on members of the Trump team, they sought legitimacy from the FISA court. But to get the court order they had to fudge a bit with evidence. That's when they hauled out that phony Christopher Steele dossier.
Would J. Edgar Hoover have approved? Hoover would probably have kept it to himself to show to Trump when he was at his weakest.
Click on the thumbnail, above, to see an image of the infamous memo.
10:41 AM 2/7/2018