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Specter Calls For Independent Spygate Probe

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) is calling for an independent probe into the videotaping of opposing coaches by the New England Patriots football team, a day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell declared the league's investigation into the matter closed.

The NFL forbids teams from videotaping opposing coaches' signals, arguing that it can provide an unfair advantage. Patriots coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 last year for illegally videotaping opposing coaches' hand-signals and the team was docked a first-round draft pick.

"It's my judgment that there ought to be an impartial investigation, an outside investigation, like the investigation that baseball had with the help of former Senator George Mitchell," said Specter on Wednesday, referring to the ongoing steroids investigation conducted by Major League Baseball.

The Patriots have won three Super Bowls in the last seven years, including one over Specter's own Philadelphia Eagles in 2005.

Specter said his interest in the case begin after he heard about the videotaping and contacted Goodell numerous times, but "got a stonewall" every time he sent the commissioner a letter.

On Wednesday, Specter was careful to say that he was not calling for a congressional investigation, but did say he had spoken to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) about the issue and hinted there may be further action down the road.
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