In Mr. Felt’s prosecution, five attorneys general and President Richard M. Nixon testified that national security entries need no warrant, and the court eventually agreed.
The only quibble was whether presidential authorization could be implicit (per Mr. Felt and Mr. Nixon) or must be written.
Mr. Felt authorized these entries (or “black bag jobs”) because of concern about activities of members in the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United States after the terrorism at the Munich Olympic Games and about the Weather Underground, which had claimed responsibility for bombing several government buildings and whose predecessor group had in 1970 been preparing antipersonnel nail bombs to kill and maim innocent Fort Dix soldiers.
Mark Felt was a great hero, undeserving of such shabby treatment.