A former chief of the Knoxville FBI office says his old agency is concealing evidence that casts doubt on whether an Army scientist sent the anthrax-filled letters that killed five people in 2001.
Richard Lambert, who also was former director of the FBI’s national anthrax investigation, made the assertion in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month in Knoxville.
The FBI has said its conclusions were based on all the evidence it collected.
The scientist, Bruce Ivins, committed suicide in 2008 as prosecutors prepared to charge him.
Lambert ran the investigation from 2002 to 2006, when he transferred to Knoxville. Now retired, he contends in court documents that the Justice Department illegally got him fired from a security job because he had complained internally about mismanagement of the anthrax probe.
Under Lambert, anthrax investigators focused on another Army scientist, Steven Hatfill, who was eventually cleared.
Lambert retired in 2012 as Knoxville special agent in charge. He’d been with the FBI 24 years.
Lambert took a position as senior counterintelligence officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, part of the subject of his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.