Mr. NIELDS: Now, was the Department of Justice, to your knowl-
edge, ever asked to give an opinion on whether a covert operation
a full-service covert operation done by the NSC overseas, would
have to be reported to Congress?
Attorney General MEESE: I don't recall that there has been such
a request. I don't know of any request, and I don't believe that
there has been, that information or a legal opinion was requested
of the Department by the President or anyone.
Mr. NIELDS: Again referring to this same memorandum and on
the same page, that's exhibit 69, page 5, footnote 11, starts off—and
again this is Mr. Cooper's memorandum—"Covert intelligence op-
erations are subject to the congressional reporting requirements of
Section 501 of the National Security Act, whether they are conducted
by the CIA, the NSC, or some other agency."
Would you agree with that statement?
Attorney General MEESE: Yes, I think generally I would.
Mr. NIELDS: So that if the NSC were running a covert operation,
even without the involvement of the CIA, there would be a congressional
reporting requirement that would apply?
Attorney General MEESE: Well, again, I would have to give you a
definitive legal opinion, which I would have to be totally knowledgeable
about the kind of CIA operation.
This says covert intelligence operations, and it would depend a
lot on what all of the circumstances are, how they were being run,
and under what authorization and so on.