View Full Version : Holt Wants Hearings On FBI Anthrax Investigation

03-07-2007, 10:00 AM
Holt wants hearings on FBI anthrax investigation



TRENTON --Rep. Rush Holt (D-Princeton) wants hearings into what he says is a lack of headway in the FBI's investigation into the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001.

"It seems to me this investigation is not making progress. I can't say for sure. They won't brief me," Holt told The Times of Trenton for Saturday newspapers.

"Not briefing Congress on the status of the probe into the biggest biological attack in United States history is inexcusable," he said.

The anthrax attacks through the postal system killed five people across the country and sickened 17 in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. Investigators have not determined who was responsible for the attacks.

Over the years, Holt has been a vocal critic of the bureau's handling of the case, especially because anthrax contamination was found in mail facilities in and near Holt's district.

Holt on Friday called on four committee chairmen and one subcommittee chairman in the House to hold oversight hearings into the investigation. His request may carry more weight now that his party is in the majority in Congress.

Several earlier attempts to receive information failed. In September and October 2006, Holt formally requesting that the FBI brief Congress on the investigation. He was denied.

In December, a bipartisan group of 32 House and Senate members called on Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to direct that the FBI brief Congress on the investigation. That request was also denied.

Richard J. Kolko, a bureau spokesman, defended the handling of the anthrax probe, saying it is "one of the largest and most complex" ever conducted. He said the investigation is still a high priority.