The FBI acknowledged Tuesday that it violated its own guidelines in 2013 by investigating environmental advocates who were protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, The New York Times reports.
Agents were investigating claims that some opponents planned to damage part of the existing pipeline, which sends oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Without approval from their office or chief lawyer, FBI agents gathered information about opponents and combed through databases for information on environmental advocates. The investigation appears to have been prompted by communication from the Houston office.
Agents are required to get authorization for such an investigation and did not, the Times wrote.
A further investigation revealed no evidence that protesters planned to damage the pipeline.