[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] has opened an internal investigation into its role in the domestic surveillance program approved by President Bush, Rep. Maurice Hinchey [official website] said Wednesday. Counsel for DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility [official website] confirmed that an investigation had been started in response to requests by four House members into the DOJ's role in approving the surveillance program and whether the program was legal under the current law. Hinchey's office has a news release. In January, the DOJ's usual internal investigations arm, the Office of the Inspector-General, passed up the opportunity to investigate the Department's role in the spying scandal itself, claiming it had no jurisdiction [JURIST report].
President Bush came under fire after it was revealed in December that he had approved domestic warrantless wiretaps [JURIST report] by the National Security Agency for terror suspects. Democrats have pushed for a variety of investigations into the program. Republican Sen. Mike DeWine [official website] is considering legislation that would allow the surveillance by exempting it from the requirements Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [text]. AP has more.