Copies of the icky emails ABC published last week have been in the hands of the FBI since July, according to a group which obtained the emails months ago. So why does it sound as if the bureau's probe of their sender, disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), is just beginning?
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the D.C.-based watchdog group obtained the emails in July, and shortly thereafter provided copies to the feds -- on July 21, according a press release from the organization.
The group has denied being ABC's source for the emails.
"FBI to Examine Foley's E-Mails," the Washington Post headline reads this morning. "A law enforcement official who requested anonymity so he could discuss an ongoing case said the probe will be handled by the FBI's Cyber Division," the paper notes -- emphasis mine.
That said, the FBI won't confirm the date their inquiry began. Spokesman Steve Kodak would say only that the FBI is "conducting an assessment to determine if there's been any violation of federal law."
CREW is calling for a separate inquiry, by the Department of Justice's Inspector General, to determine whether the FBI's actions -- or inaction -- was politically influenced.
Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that CREW was ABC's source for the emails.