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Details Of The Palin Vetting Process

A senior official close to the John McCain's vice presidential vetting tells CBS News that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin disclosed both her husband's DWI arrest and her daughter's pregnancy during the process. In the second part of the two-stage process, Palin was asked to provide answers to 70 questions. According to the official, Palin disclosed her husband's arrest on the written form and indicated there was one thing she wanted to discuss orally – her daughter's situation.

Part one of the vetting included the examination of 21 names and involved a public background search, looking at academic, business, financial and legal records in addition to past controversies. Those who were on this list were not aware of it and the official said Palin was not on it initially but added as the list grew. A written report for each of the 21 was presented to McCain and a senior group of advisers. The report on Palin was 40 pages, single-spaced and included "troopergate" and her fishing fine.

The second stage included six names. Each was asked to answer the 70 questions which included queries about marital infidelity, pornography drug use and prostitution. Contrary to reports, there was not an FBI background check. The six finalists filled out the paperwork for an FBI check but the Justice Department nixed the idea because the people who would have access to the information would include campaign advisers, who are not government employees.

Palin also submitted tax returns for more than seven years and prior public disclosures including articles she had written that aren't in the public domain. She also submitted copies of speeches she has delivered, underwent a credit check and one interview with the chief vetter, A.B. Culvahouse. Her report, along with the other five were presented to campaign manager Rick Davis and to McCain - including the details on her husband's DWI and her daughter's pregnancy.

The official told CBS News that the campaign was aware of the investigation into the firing of a state official and a state trooper but that they were "convinced there was no impropriety" after thoroughly researching it. The source said they "spent a lot of time" looking into it.

The official also noted that the campaign has released documents showing that Palin has been registered as a Republican since 1982 to refute reports that she was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. As part of the vetting, Palin was asked her to "list all of her political relationships and she did." The source added it was their understanding that she only spoke to the group when they held their convention in Wasilla and she was mayor at the time. The official said it was their understanding that Palin is and was not "active in any other political party."

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