U.S. feds probe congressional memo theft

April 27, 2004 at 10:48 AM

NEW YORK, April 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. attorney for New York has been asked to investigate how 4,670 confidential Democratic party files were obtained by the Republican party.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Manhattan's top federal prosecutor, David Kelley, will lead the probe based on a call from lawmakers from both parties to avoid a Washington-based investigator.

In March, the Senate sergeant-at-arms concluded in a 65-page report that two Republican staff aides had engaged in widespread, unauthorized and possibly illegal spying by reading Democratic strategy memoranda on a Senate computer system, the New York Times said Tuesday.

The report said in an 18-month period, the aides improperly read, downloaded and printed the files concerning Democratic tactics in opposing many of President George Bush's judicial nominees.

The two aides implicated in the affair have both left the Senate.

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