It looks like the FBI's tried to rabbit-punch a good-government group that's been demanding to find out why the bureau didn't open a probe of Mark Foley months ago.
On Monday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington demanded
an investigation into why the FBI didn't open a probe of Mark Foley in July, when the group forwarded copies of the former lawmaker's questionable emails to the bureau.
This morning, an unnamed "official" fired back
via a blind quote in the Washington Post
, which suggested the group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, had held the emails for months before giving them to the FBI, and would not cooperate with agents:
One law enforcement official -- speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation -- also told The Washington Post the FBI believed that CREW may have received the e-mails as early as April and that the group refused to tell the FBI how they were obtained.
CREW says that's categorically false. "They're making it up. There's no question about it. As things get worse for them, they seem to be making up more lies," CREW spokeswoman Naomi Seligman told me.
She stood by the group's claim that it received the emails in mid-July, and forwarded them to the FBI shortly thereafter. "We were more than willing to cooperate with them," Seligman said of the bureau -- but the FBI never contacted her group. "If they did call us, we'd love to know when." Her group continues to call for an investigation of the matter by the Justice Department's inspector general.Update
: An earlier version of this story stated that Seligman said CREW turned the emails over to the FBI one week after receiving them. This was not accurate; Seligman says the group turned them over the same day it received them.