February 13, 2009 | By Hugh D'Andrade

Poll: Majority Want Investigations on Warrantless Wiretapping

A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds that a clear majority of Americans favor at least some kind of investigation into whether Bush administration officials and policies violated the law.

Respondents were asked about whether there should be a criminal investigation, an investigation by independent panel — or neither — into questions of politicization of the Justice Department, torture and warrantless wiretapping.

On the question of wiretapping, 63% support investigation of some kind. (38% prefer a criminal investigation, while 25% want investigation by an independent panel.)

Meanwhile, Senator Patrick Leahy has proposed a panel to "get to the bottom of what happened" during the Bush administration, along the lines of the "truth commissions" in South Africa. The panels would be a fact-finding mission, and would have the power to offer immunity in exchange for testimony. Leahy discussed the proposal with White House Chief Counsel Greg Craig on Tuesday. While President Obama has not yet taken a position on the proposal, Leahy noted that Senate Judiciary Committee investigations would go forward with or without White House support.

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