Predatorgate: FBI covering up for the GOP?
UPDATE: See CREW's blog-post - "FBI lied to reporters; CREW demands investigation". CREW also confirms that they sent UNREDACTED emails to the FBI.
Beverly Lumpkin of CBS writes:
In July, when Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) provided the "innocuous" emails to the FBI, they were heavily redacted.
The FBI asked CREW to go back to its source and ask for more information so it could follow up, but CREW refused. That's why the FBI did nothing further at that time.
Did Lumpkin talk to CREW before she filed this story?
Melanie Sloan of CREW made it very clear previously that the FBI never got back to her:
As a result, after reviewing the emails, I called a special agent in the Washington Field Office of the FBI. I explained what I had received and said that I wanted to pass them along. By email, I then sent copies of the emails to the agent. By telephone, the agent confirmed that she had received them and understood them to be email exchanges between Mark Foley and a young man.
I never heard back from the FBI, but I did not expect to. The FBI cannot share the fruits of its investigation with someone who is not in law enforcement. Nonetheless, I was surprised to learn this morning that the FBI was just beginning an investigation today – meaning that they had not begun an investigation when I sent them the emails back in July.
So, the claim that the FBI got back to CREW is clearly false. I would not be surprised to find that the claim that emails were somehow "heavily redacted" is suspect as well. I expect to hear back from CREW on that.
Further, the FBI made a different claim previously to explain why they never bothered to investigate Foley:
An FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the field office concluded that the e-mails "did not rise to the level of criminal activity." The bureau announced Sunday that it would begin a preliminary investigation into Foley's more explicit electronic exchanges with teenagers.
Federal law enforcement officials said the F.B.I. in recent months had been given e-mail messages between Mr. Foley and a page but had found insufficient grounds to open a criminal investigation.
It's time for the FBI, Alberto Gonzales and the Bush administration to come clean.