FBI Agents Investigated for Cheating on Test of New Surveillance Rules


WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) The Feds are investigating the Feds.

The Justice Department is investigating whether hundreds of FBI agents cheated on a test about the new rules that allow the Bureau to conduct surveillance and to open cases, without evidence that a crime has been committed.

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday acknowledged the cheating in Senate testimony, reports CBS News Radio's Bob Fuss.

Muller said he didn't know how many agents cheated on the tests, designed to make sure they understand the limits on post-9/11 powers to use surveillance and investigate people even if there is no evidence they committed a crime.

In some instances, agents took the open-book test together, violating rules that they take it alone. Others finished the lengthy exam unusually quickly, current and former officials said.

In Columbia, S.C., agents printed the test in advance to use as a study guide, according to a letter to the inspector general from the FBI Agents Association that summarized the investigation. The inspector general's probe was also confirmed by current and former officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, agents could be disciplined or even fired.