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DOJ drops internal probe into domestic spying role after NSA denies clearance

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] has ended the internal investigation [JURIST report] into the role its lawyers played in the NSA's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] approved by President Bush. The investigation had been headed by the Office of Professional Responsibility [official website] until department head H. Marshall Jarrett revealed this week that it had been "unable to make meaningful progress" after having been "denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program." Jarrett had been seeking the necessary clearances since January and was finally informed that they would be denied on Tuesday.

The NSA's warrantless domestic wiretapping program has been a contentious issue since it was first exposed [JURIST report] in December 2005. President Bush's nominee for CIA director [JURIST report], former NSA director General Michael Hayden [official profile], has suggested [JURIST report] that he might welcome a modification to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [text] to bring the wiretapping surveillance program under its scope of authority. Thursday's New York Times has more.

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