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Paper: Fifteen current, former members of Congress interviewed over NSA wiretapping leak

RAW STORY
Published: Monday July 24, 2006

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"The FBI is close to finishing a series of interviews with the top Congressional leaders and other key Members in both chambers as part of its wide-ranging criminal probe of alleged leaks of the previously classified domestic surveillance program," (paid-restricted) ROLL CALL reports Monday. The full restricted story is available here. Selected excerpts follow.

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The agents and Justice Department officials are investigating whether any of the 15 current and former Members briefed earlier this decade about the National Security Agency spying program were a source for a New York Times report about the issue last December.

There are also indications from at least one Senator, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), that the FBI is asking Members about comments of theirs that appeared in other publications regarding the NSA program.

The interviews, which came about after extensive negotiations this spring between the Justice Department and the counsels for the House and Senate, are taking place in Membersí Congressional offices, usually with two FBI agents and one Justice Department lawyer in attendance. Members are also permitted to have a House or Senate counsel on hand if they wished.

Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), House Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have already been interviewed. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is expected to be interviewed soon.

Itís unclear whether the federal investigators believe this leak came from Capitol Hill. Lawmakers did not give specifics of their questioning to ROLL CALL.

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