Considering they refused to do this last year, I can't help but think this was a tactic to discourage the new Democratic majority from exercising any oversight. Any bets that they'll find "no evidence of wrongdoing"?
US Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine has launched an internal investigation into the DOJ's use of intelligence gathered under the NSA's domestic surveillance program, according to a letter from Fine to Congressional leaders obtained by AP Monday. Fine has notified leaders of the House and Senate judiciary, intelligence and appropriations committees that his office is investigating the Justice Department's "controls and use of information related to the program" as well as its "compliance with legal requirements governing the program." Under the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program [.PDF], warrantless wiretaps are used to intercept telephone calls and e-mails of conversations of individuals suspected of being involved with the al Qaeda terrorist network if one of person is located outside the US.
After the program was first disclosed last year, inspectors general from both the DOJ and the Defense Department refused requests to investigate the program, with Fine citing a lack of jurisdiction. The DOJ request was referred to the department's Office of Professional Responsibility, but the internal probe into the role DOJ lawyers played in designing the program was dropped after the NSA denied investigators clearance to review all relevant documents. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales later said that President Bush personally put an end to the internal OPR investigation.