Newsweek magazine has reported that the FBI had opened an investigation after finding that someone apparently had ripped several pages from Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton's passport file relating to the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The FBI and the State Department each refused to comment Monday on reports Clinton's passport file had been tampered with.
Several news organizations had applied under the Freedom of Information Act to see the file to check whether Clinton had ever considered applying for citizenship of another country to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War.
The news organizations also were searching for clues about a 40-day trip Clinton made during his two years as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford in 1969-70 to the Soviet Union, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Some Republicans have questioned whether his visit to Moscow may have had to do with the antiwar movement. But the Clinton campaign said the visit was part of a vacation trip and called the Republicans' focus on it a smear campaign.
Newsweek speculated that pages of Clinton's file could have been destroyed by an official or low-level bureaucrat sympathetic to Clinton.
Or they could have been removed by a supporter of President Bush who wanted to make it look as if incriminating documents had been removed.