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Justice Dept. resists CIA tape probe

Dec. 14, 2007 at 11:31 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it would not cooperate with congressional investigations into the CIA's destruction of tapes of interrogations.

The department asked the House Intelligence Committee to postpone its investigation, The New York Times reported. Officials said the committee probe would be "a significant risk" to its own investigation.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey Friday rebuffed congressional demands for details on the CIA investigation.

In letters to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee and others, Mukasey said providing such information would give the appearance that the department was "subject to political influence," The Washington Post reported.

Mukasey restated his opposition to appointing a special prosecutor, saying he wasn't aware of any information that would require such a move.

The CIA revealed last week it destroyed videotapes in 2005 that recorded interrogations of alleged al-Qaida terrorists Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Administration officials have said lawyers at the Justice Department and the White House advised the CIA against destroying the tapes but CIA lawyers ruled the tapes' preservation was not required.

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