The Justice Department has begun an internal inquiry into its role in the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program, a lawmaker disclosed on Wednesday.
The investigation is being conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, which reviews allegations of misconduct within the law enforcement agency.
Marshall Jarrett, the office's counsel, acknowledged the investigation in a letter to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. Jarrett's letter did not specify which of the agency's actions or employees are being examined.
"You asked this office to investigate the Department of Justice's role in authorizing, approving and auditing certain surveillance activities of the National Security Agency, and whether such activities are permissible under existing law. For your information, we have initiated an investigation," Jarrett wrote.