updated 1/19/2010 1:59:19 AM ET 2010-01-19T06:59:19

The FBI violated the law in collecting thousands of U.S. telephone records during the Bush administration, according to a report published on Tuesday.

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Citing internal memos and interviews, the Washington Post reported that the FBI invoked nonexistent terrorism emergencies or persuaded phone companies to provide information. The report said the result was more than 2,000 illegally gathered records between 2002 and 2006.

The Justice Department inspector general is expected to release a report this month detailing the extent of the problem.

FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said FBI Director Robert Mueller did not know about the requests until after the inspector general's investigation had begun.

Caproni told the Post that the bureau will await the inspector general's report before deciding whether disciplinary action is warranted.

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