Wiretapping leak probe dropped

The Justice Department has dropped its long-running criminal investigation of a lawyer who publicly admitted leaking information about President George W. Bush’s top-secret warrantless wiretapping program to The New York Times — disclosures that Bush vehemently denounced as a breach of national security. They also stoked a congressional debate about whether the government had overstepped its authority as it scrambled to respond to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The decision not to prosecute former Justice Department lawyer Thomas Tamm means it is unlikely that anyone will be charged for the disclosures that led to the Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning story in December 2005, revealing that after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush ordered the interception of certain phone calls and email messages into and out of the U.S. without a warrant — a move many lawyers contend violated the 1978 law governing intelligence-related wiretaps. 

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