The FBI is finally coughing up more details on their illegal phone records demands
, following FBI Dir. Robert Mueller's apology two-weeks ago to the Washington Post
and the New York Times
The Washington Times
has an interview with FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni, who says there was a "miscommunication" when an "exigent letter" -- which allows FBI agents to gather information without regular judicial oversight -- was sent to obtain Times
reporters' phone calls.
From the Washington Times
Ms. Caproni said the case agent e-mailed an agent in the terrorism-investigating Communications Analysis Unit (CAU) to suggest seeking Justice Department permission and a grand jury subpoena to obtain the reporters' phone records.
Ms. Caproni said the case agent did not say it was an emergency, but the agent in CAU sent an "exigent letter" anyway.
While it is not known why the agent in CAU sent the letter, Ms. Caproni suggested the agent in CAU may have been trying to be helpful. She also noted CAU is on the front lines of the fight against terrorism and that the unit was busy at the time.
Mike German, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington legislative office, said he didn't buy Ms. Caproni's argument. "It's clear the FBI wants to minimize this as a mistake and not abuse," he said. "The facts are, there was a ridiculous amount of misuse and abuse."