The U.S. Justice Department has opened a probe into who revealed a secret domestic eavesdropping program authorized by President George W. Bush, an official at the agency said.
The official, who requested anonymity, said the investigation centers on the unauthorized disclosure of classified information to the New York Times, which first reported the spying conducted by the National Security Agency. Bush earlier this month called the leak “a shameful act.”
The president, confirming the surveillance, said on Dec. 17 that he approved a “limited” program of monitoring phone calls, e-mails and satellite communications without court approval. The disclosure overshadowed the administration’s efforts to revive support for the Iraq war and provoked an outcry on Capitol Hill.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers have called for a review of the operation, which Bush said he approved in 2001 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Senators are questioning whether the eavesdropping violates the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because the spying took place without court-approved warrants