Saturday, February 28, 2009

Appeals Court Allows Classified Evidence in Spy Case

A federal appeals court dealt a blow to the Obama administration Friday when it refused to block a judge from admitting top secret evidence in a lawsuit weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress, as President George W. Bush did, and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.

The legal brouhaha concerns U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's decision in January to admit as evidence a classified document allegedly showing that two American lawyers for a now-defunct Saudi charity were electronically eavesdropped on without warrants by the Bush administration in 2004. The lawyers — Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor — sued the Bush administration after the U.S. Treasury Department accidentally released the top secret memo to them.


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