DOJ Reopens Warrantless Surveillance OPR Investigation:
This is interesting:
  The Bush administration has apparently changed policy and cleared the way for the Justice Department to restart an investigation into the government's no-warrant electronic surveillance program, a department official told Congress on Tuesday.
  The Justice Department said it will investigate the conduct of lawyers involved in the wiretapping program.
  For months the White House had blocked granting the security clearances necessary for investigators in the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility to determine whether any department attorneys had engaged in unethical behavior.
  . . . .
  H. Marshall Jarrett, head of the Justice office, told members of Congress on Tuesday that the investigation will be reopened. But in his one-paragraph letter Jarrett sidestepped the issue of who in the Bush administration had reversed course.
  UPDATE: This March '07 National Journal report by Murray Waas may shed light on the story (hat tip: TPMMuckraker). Some excerpts:
  Shortly before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales advised President Bush last year on whether to shut down a Justice Department inquiry regarding the administration's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program, Gonzales learned that his own conduct would likely be a focus of the investigation, according to government records and interviews. . . .
  Investigators from the Office of Professional Responsibility notified senior aides to Gonzales early last year that the first two people they intended to interview were Jack Goldsmith, who had been an assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, and James A. Baker, the counsel for Justice's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. Both men had raised questions about the propriety and legality of various aspects of the eavesdropping program, which was undertaken after September 11 as an anti-terrorism tool. . . .
  A senior federal law enforcement official said that after OPR launched its inquiry in early 2006, Justice Department political appointees were concerned that the internal ethics office might conclude that Gonzales or other administration officials had sidestepped the law in the authorization and oversight of the program.
And in related news, Hell has frozen over, the sun will be rising in the West tomorrow, and Paris Hilton got a job.
11.13.2007 9:54pm
John (mail):
I guess that the reason for the reactivation is to have it concluded fairly soon, so that any necessary pardons can be issued.
11.13.2007 10:55pm
Even if that's true, at least there could be some political accountability for what's happened -- even if there is never criminal accountability.
11.13.2007 11:08pm
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
John: It's an OPR investigation. I'm pretty sure they don't do any criminal work, so there shouldn't be any opportunity for pardons. If it was the Civil Rights Division, things would be different, but I'm pretty sure the worst you could expect from an OPR investigation was disbarment (but I could be wrong).
11.13.2007 11:50pm
John Herbison (mail):
A presidential pardon need not await conviction, nor even commencement of prosecution, as President Ford's most notable pardon attests. Perhaps this is an effort to identify which Justice Department officials need preemptive pardons before 1/20/09.
11.14.2007 12:32am
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
This post by Marty Lederman at Balkinization on the investigation is also worth checking out.

11.14.2007 10:24am
If you thought the Senate Intelligence Committee under Roberts was slow, wait 'til you see this investigation. Why don't we just save time and refer it to the National Security Archive?
11.14.2007 1:39pm
Well, it won't be long to see if Mukasey has the cojones or not.
11.14.2007 3:01pm
Crunchy Frog:
I wonder if this investigation wasn't part of the deal to get Chuck Schumer to buy off on Mukasky's nomination.
11.14.2007 3:36pm
Crunchy - if so, I think Chuck bargained well enough.
11.14.2007 3:41pm