Congress to Investigate Report That US Spied on Lawmakers

“The House Intelligence Committee is looking into allegations in The Wall Street Journal regarding possible Intelligence Community (IC) collection of communications between Israeli government officials and members of Congress,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said in a statement.

“The Committee has requested additional information from the IC to determine which, if any, of these allegations are true, and whether the IC followed all applicable laws, rules, and procedures," the statement said.

Per NSA rules, lawmakers’ names and personal information in intelligence reports on the intercepted communications were removed, the report said, before communications were passed along to senior U.S. officials.

The NSA operates under the authority of the Department of Defense. Its activities are governed by the Constitution, federal law and Executive Branch rules and orders. In addition, it is monitored by a number of outside bodies, including House and Senate committees, the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice.

In a statement, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) promised "vigorous oversight" of intelligence community activities.

"Allegations of wrongdoing, whether brought forward by whistleblowers, media reporting, executive branch notification, or through the work of the committee's professional staff, are always taken seriously by this committee," he said in a statement provided to ABC News.

The NSA referred questions about the spying allegations to the White House National Security Council. An NSC spokesman did not confirm or deny the existence of the spying operation.

"We do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike,” the spokesman said in a statement.

"It's well known the countries spy on other countries," said Engel. "I don't think this shocks anybody."

Engel said it is important for Congress to conduct oversight of U.S. intelligence gathering.

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