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Democrats call for special counsel investigation of domestic spying

[JURIST] In a letter [text] sent to President Bush Monday, 17 Democrats from the US House of Representatives called for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations that the National Security Agency conducted warrantless surveillance of US citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [text]. The call for presidential action comes one week after the Senate Intelligence Committee [official website] and House Intelligence Committee [official website] both declined to directly probe [JURIST report] the surveillance program [JURIST news archive].

The Bush administration maintains that all questioned surveillance is a legal exercise of executive power, but many members of Congress, including US Sen. Pat Roberts, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, are calling for greater oversight of the program [JURIST report]. Both the Justice Department and Defense Department inspectors general have declined to conduct independent investigations [JURIST report] into the program, but the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility has opened an internal investigation [JURIST report] into the DOJ's role in the domestic surveillance program. AP has more.

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