talenotes
(i) [Comey], [the Office of Legal Counsel] and the [Attorney General] concluded that the NSA program was not legally defensible, i.e., that it violated FISA and that the Article II argument OLC had previously approved was not an adequate justification ... (ii) the White House nevertheless continued with the program anyway, despite DOJ's judgment that it was unlawful; (iii) Comey, Ashcroft, the head of the FBI (Robert Mueller) and several other DOJ officials therefore threatened to resign; (iv) the White House accordingly -- one day later -- asked DOJ to figure out a way the program could be changed to bring it into compliance with the law (presumably on the AUMF authorizaton theory); and (v) OLC thereafter did develop proposed amendments to the program over the subsequent two or three weeks, which were eventually implemented. The program continued in the interim, even after DOJ concluded that it was unlawful.
does--Bradford Plumer