"The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.
"That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.
"Bush's move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise."