CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Archive for September 3rd, 2011

* The head of the Amerithrax prosecution Daniel Seikaly pled the Fifth Amendment about leaking the hyped Hatfill stories that derailed the Amerithrax investigation for 7 years. His daughter later came to represent “anthrax weapons suspect” (to borrow defense counsel’s phrase) Ali Al-Timimi pro bono. GAO: Was an apparent conflict of interest avoided on the grounds that her representation began after her father left DOJ? Or was there a continuing appearance of a conflict of interest?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 3, 2011

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See “Laws and Rules on Confidentiality and Conflicts of Interest for US Prosecutors”

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* Senator Grassley asks the FBI to explain why it retracted a Justice Department filing (in the Stevens case) that Dr. Bruce Ivins lacked access in his lab to the “specialized equipment” needed to dry wet anthrax spores into airborne powder

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 3, 2011

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Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)

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 from GREG GORDON, MIKE WISER AND STEPHEN ENGELBERG (McClatchy Newspapers, Frontline and ProPublica) … 9/2/11 …

  • Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has asked the Justice Department to explain why its civil lawyers filed court papers questioning prosecutors’ conclusions that an Army researcher mailed the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people in 2001.
  • Grassley is among several members of Congress who have been outspoken skeptics about the FBI’s conclusion
  • In a letter this week to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller, Sen. Grassley said the department’s decision to quickly retract the contradictory filings “has produced a new set of questions regarding this unsolved crime.”
    • The Justice Department’s civil lawyers said July 15 that Bruce Ivins lacked access in his lab to the “specialized equipment” needed to dry wet anthrax spores into airborne powder that could be easily inhaled.
    • After hearing from the FBI and the department’s Criminal Division, the civil attorneys persuaded a federal judge in West Palm Beach, Fla., to permit 10 revisions to their position so it conformed with the FBI’s determination that Ivins did have equipment available to do the job.
  • Grassley noted that two USAMRIID scientists, in sworn depositions in the suit, disputed the FBI’s conclusion that Ivins could have made the powder in his laboratory.

read the entire article at … http://www.kansascity.com/2011/09/02/3117349/sen-grassley-asks-justice-department.html#ixzz1WqdUnVY5

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LMW COMMENT …

We welcome Senator Grassley back to this discussion. See also …

* U.S. Senator Grassley … “There are no more excuses for avoiding an independent review and assessment of how the FBI handled its investigation in the anthrax case.”

* Sen. Grassley says he will hold nominees at the DOJ until he receives long overdue answers from the FBI

* Senator Grassley pushes for FBI answers to questions about its anthrax investigation asked in September 2008; FBI Director Mueller says the questions have been answered and sent to the DOJ

* FBI stonewalling seems to be working

* Congress tries to scrutinize the FBI’s anthrax investigation … so far with little success

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