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Intended anthrax target has doubts about probe

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CNN
Monday, August 4, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) — An intended recipient of one of the anthrax-laced letters sent in 2001′s anthrax scare said Monday he was “very skeptical” of the government’s investigation.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle was an intended recipient of an anthrax-laced letter in 2001.

1 of 3 Former Sen. Tom Daschle, who was Senate majority leader at the time, said he is suspicious of the case against researcher Bruce Ivins because of the government “bungling” of Steven Hatfill’s case.

Hatfill, who was named by the Justice Department as a “person of interest” in 2002, was never charged and later sued the department. They reached a multimillion dollar settlement in June.

“Given their checkered past and the difficulty that they had in getting to this point — the bungling of the Hatfill part of the investigation — leads me to be very skeptical,” the former South Dakota senator said.

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  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Ivins, an anthrax researcher at Fort Detrick, Maryland, committed suicide last week before he was to have discussed a plea deal in the anthrax case with prosecutors, officials said.

Ivins, 62, died at a hospital in Frederick, Maryland, where he was taken after he was found on a bathroom floor at his home. No charges have been made public.

Sources close to the case said the government may pronounce it closed as soon as Monday.

The decision to close the probe is part of a set of events in which the government will first ask a federal judge to disband the grand jury that was hearing the case, then request the case documents to be unsealed.

After that, the Justice Department plans to brief the victims and their families in Washington before publicly releasing details of the case against Ivins, several sources with knowledge of the investigation said.

Daschle said Monday he hasn’t been briefed on the investigation in over five years. Watch why Daschle is skeptical of the case.

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This article was posted: Monday, August 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm





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