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The probe was requested by Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the environment committee, who has called global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."
The e-mails were stolen in late 2009 from the Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia. Inhofe and other climate change skeptics suggested it was proof of a conspiracy to corroborate a near-unanimous consensus among scientists that the earth is warming due in part to human activities.
The investigation is the latest in a series of prior probes that exonerated the scient