“…in accordance with the law…”
That’s what Jay Carney said on June 21, 2013, when a reporter brought up the effort to spring Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan.
REPORTER: “Jay, going to back to Afghanistan, the Taliban has offered to release Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five members of the Taliban who are currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. Is this something that the administration is considering? Is this something that the president would agree to?”
CARNEY: “What I can tell you is that the main dialogue that we support is the dialogue between Afghans — between the Taliban and the Afghan government. However, there are some issues that we would like to discuss with the Taliban directly, and this includes the safe return of Sergeant Bergdahl, who has been gone for far too long. We continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release. We cannot discuss all the details of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis we are continuing to pursue — using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools — the effort to return him home safely. And our hearts are with the Bergdahl family. With regard to the transfer of Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, we have made — the United States has not made the decision to do that, though we do expect the Taliban to raise this issue in our discussion, if and when those discussions happen. As we have long said, however, we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law.”
As we now know, the Obama White House did not consult Congress. Obama justified this by resorting to a signing statement, which in this case, he used to more or less abrogate the existing law.
Which is illegal, and the president knows it.