[JURIST] The intelligence committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives [committee websites] will receive a full briefing [Senate press release] on the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive], committee chairmen said Tuesday. In preparation for the confirmation hearings on the nomination [JURIST report] of Gen. Michael Hayden [official profile] as CIA chief, Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) [official website], who has expressed strong support [JURIST report] for the domestic surveillance program in the past, pushed for the expansion of briefings from smaller subcommittees to the entire intelligence committees. Questions about the program are expected to dominate the confirmation hearing for Hayden, who served as head of the National Security Agency while the program was developed. Reuters has more.
Also on Tuesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) [official website] said that two Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder] judges knew about the domestic surveillance program since its inception in 2001. Hatch did not say that the judges approved the program, only that they were aware of its existence. AP has more.