The Department of Justice
John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the United States
Nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Attorney General in2000. He served for the entire first term of Bush's presidency and retired shortly after PresidentBush won reelection in 2004. He was the first Attorney General who oversaw the alleged legalrationale for the program. As Attorney General, Ashcroft authorized and approved the Program on behalf of the Department of Justice.
James B. Comey, Deputy Attorney General,and for a short time Acting Attorney General
Served as Deputy Attorney General beginning in 2003 and ending in the fall of 2005. He raisedobjections to Attorney General Ashcroft about the illegal nature of the Program in 2004, and asActing Attorney General refused to give the Department of Justice's legal approval to the Program.He later signed off on a modified version of the Program.
Jack Goldsmith, Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel
Between October 2003 and July 2004 he served as a United States Assistant Attorney General andwas the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, supervising attorney Patrick Philbin. He oversaw thelegal review of Office of Legal Counsel attorney John Yoo's legal authorization, declared the legalrationale unsuitable, and redrafted the legal rationale for domestic spying with Philbin.