Ivins Lawyer Rebuts DOJ Anthrax Allegations
The DOJ says it's confident Army scientist Bruce Ivins sent the deadly anthrax letters in 2001. But Ivins' lawyer says dozens, if not hundreds, of scientists and contractors had access to those same anthrax spores.
READ A DETAILED LOOK at the government's allegations and Ivins' defense.
Transcript: DOJ News Conference On Ivins
READ A TRANSCRIPT of the Aug. 6, 2008, news conference by U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor, FBI Assistant Director Joseph Persichini and other officials to discuss the government's investigation of Bruce Ivins, an Army microbiologist suspected in the 2001 anthrax-letter attacks.
In his first sit-down interview about anthrax suspect Bruce E. Ivins, attorney Paul Kemp explains why he thinks the Justice Department's case against the late Army microbiologist is weak.
Ivins, who committed suicide July 29, 2008, was a prime suspect in the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five people.
Laura Sullivan, NPR correspondent: The main piece of evidence seems to be this idea that they could link the anthrax specifically to government microbiologist Bruce E. Ivins. What are your thoughts on that, do you think that's possible?
Paul Kemp, attorney for Bruce Ivins: I think it's certainly possible. If it was done, it apparently was done in 2005, and that's my understanding, both from the affidavits that were released [Wednesday, Aug. 6] and I think implied from the news conference in which [Jeff Taylor, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia] spoke.
The issue it raises is, all that does is establish that the anthrax that originally was in that beaker, excepting the science, and I'm not challenging that now, I would if I were in court.
It doesn't change the fact that it was virtually an open-access facility. There's no security. It had a key-entry pass the way that we have in this commercial office building. That's the extent of their security. No security guard, no guest registration, no surveillance cameras, this is as of 2001. That's all changed now. So that the scientists who would use it, dozens of them at Fort Detrick, they could withdraw samples, use it for their experiments. They may not use it all. What happened to the spare portions of that beaker, RMR-1029, the specimens that were used that weren't done if there had been, God forbid, someone up there who was planning to do this, then they have ready access to it for legitimate purposes, the development of anthrax vaccine.
So Wednesday, Taylor called the flask, the tube that contained the anthrax, the murder weapon. Do you believe that?
I believe that he has reasonable evidence, assuming the science is right, to show that the anthrax in question came from the beaker. I can't say that that anthrax that's ultimately used in the anthrax attacks wasn't subsequently changed, or that it didn't come from places that had received portions of that anthrax around the country — the University of New Mexico, Battelle Labs in Ohio. And there are dozens, if not hundreds, of scientists, contractors, students, professors, who used that same anthrax, the very anthrax that would have the same genetic components as RMR-1029
They say he was the "custodian" of the parent anthrax.
He was responsible for mixing the batch that became known as RMR-1029. He was one of the primary scientists, and had, since 1977, dozens of people working for him, all of whom had access to it. Plus, other people from other labs at Fort Detrick requested samples of it. Plus, these contractors off the base got samples of it. And nobody knows the quantities, how much, when they took it, what they did with what that they didn't use. So what is the significance, in terms of identifying the killer of these people from 2001, if all you've done is establish the beaker from an unspecified time, some sample that may have been withdrawn to prepare the anthrax that was done? You have no idea who did it. And in this country, we prosecute people, not beakers.
One of the things that came out of this idea that they can link the spore sample exactly to Ivins was that he also misled the FBI. There was this big thing in Wednesday's press conference about how they had asked for a sample from him, and that when they went out themselves and took the sample, that in fact it was different from what Ivins had given them.
So many problems with that statement. It's hard to know where to begin. No. 1, I'll try and be organized in this, he provided a sample in 2002, the month of February of 2002. He provided it in a way that he thought matched their directions that at that point were orally given.
There really were, I believe, two different vials or preparations, slides, I think they're called, and he did it in a way that ultimately matches their written protocol for the preparation of these slides. One of them is delivered to the government, and they either lose it or destroy it. The second one is sent to a well-known scientist, somebody on a caliber with Dr. Ivins, in terms of this kind of thing. Paul Keim is his name, now at the Northern Arizona State University, at that point from the University of New Mexico. And he has it, maintains it. It's available for analysis, and when the government loses their slide or destroys it, they do go to the slide that Dr. Keim has, and are able to make the analysis from that.
So, that's the story, as to the February one. Not only did he not falsify the submission of samples, this is a government screw-up, for the February sample.
In the April sample, here's what they contend is wrong. They contend that the nature of the slide he prepared was improperly taken from RMR-1029, that they wanted him to prepare a smear sample of the entire set of cultures in the beaker. What they say he submitted is what's called a "pure culture" sample. And to understand that, you have to know what these things look like.
If you examine grossly, meaning with the naked eye, the anthrax that is prepared in a petri dish, an open glass petri dish, you might extract some of this stuff from the beaker — you can't really work with the beaker because it has a narrow top — so you take it out and put it in a wide petri dish and you let it grow in an agar substance.
And it ferments and grows upon itself. There will be little globules of anthrax in a harmless form, it's like wet oatmeal or something like that, and you can dip down and take each globule, or a representative set of globules — that's called taking a "pure culture" sample.
What they wanted him to do with that open petri dish was to take a smear across them all. And that's what he did the first time. He submitted a smear sample, it was properly done.
The second time, he did the pure culture sample and sent it in. That should have been readily apparent to them, as soon as it was received. They don't get to it for a long time. RMR-1029 was there. It has never been adulterated. It has never been tampered with. Why didn't they go back and say, "You took a pure culture sample, can you take a smear sample?" Why didn't they go back and take a smear sample themselves? So that's a long-winded way to the first point.
Second point, he's polygraphed twice, during the same year. They ask him, you know, "Have you told us all you know about this? Are you hiding any evidence?" as part of these normal polygraphs, but also that are directed by the investigators here.
They now discount the reliability of his passing in the polygraphs because it was conducted by the Defense Department, not by the Justice Department. And so we're left with this disparagement of the Defense Department, the same way Mr. Taylor disparaged the Defense Department yesterday during his news conference, saying, in a backhanded way, "Well, that's a matter for the Defense Department," namely, why was he allowed to continue working at the lab, with full access to these pathogens, right up to the end of the investigation?
So in your mind, this idea that the FBI came to him and said, "We need this specific sample," and that it was some kind of test and that he sent in something different, it just has no credence?
It is unbelievable to me that in, I guess the second-highest-profile case going on at the time, the first highest-profile case being the Sept. 11 attacks, in this time frame, that they wouldn't go take the sample themselves or direct him to do it while one of their agents watch him.
The final point, the biggest point: He doesn't get the written protocol as to how to submit the samples until May 24 of 2002. The sample was submitted at their direction on April 10 of 2002. They'll say, in defense of that screw-up, that he was present at a meeting at which they think it was discussed, that, "We want you to take smear samples."
That to me is inconceivable. It's part of an investigation of a case of this significance. All of that is beside the point. He'd already submitted a proper sample at the beginning of February, I forget the exact date, in February of 2002. And they lost the slide, or destroyed it. I don't know which. But [U.S. Attorney Ken] Kohl can tell you.
Was Ivins aware that the anthrax that he possessed in his own particular area in the lab was the same as the anthrax that was used in the letters?
He contended, and I'm not telling you what he discussed with me because that's privileged material and I can't discuss that, but if you look at the search warrant affidavits, he contended he was told by agents that they thought it was the same anthrax. And that's as of mid-, late 2002, I believe. The affidavit will correct me on that. So they have information six years before he's represented by me, that he was aware of the fact, and was told by an agent.
Now this agent doesn't have a recollection of telling him that, or disputes it. I forget which.
And I can understand how the agent might forget since the affidavit's not even prepared until Oct. 31 of 2007, again that's from memory, but I think that's right. So that's five years later, and I can't expect the agent to remember those kind of details. He doesn't say that Ivins is lying. He's saying, "I just don't remember having said that to him." OK, that's reasonable to me.
The passage of time, especially where my client has partnered with the FBI, is directed by them to review the ([ormer Senate Majority Leader Tom] Daschle spores, and other forensic evidence that's submitted, is helping them all along, passing polygraphs, doing everything they direct, submitting slides, not adulterating RMR-1029, not taking a portion of it. ...
You know, I mean, if you're the anthrax killer, and you're this evil genius that knows all about anthrax, and know that some sort of forensic testing can be done, why would you leave it in precisely the same genetic state one year later, one month later, seven years later, as it was in at the time of the killings, that makes no sense.
When did he go from being someone who was helping in the investigation to being the target of the investigation? When was he aware of that?
Well those are two different questions. In the FBI's mind, or, it's not just the FBI, it's the postal inspectors and others, but in law enforcement's mind, and this is repeated yesterday, they say what keys them to him is their ascertainment with this breakthrough science that the anthrax at least came from RMR-1029. Whether it was removed from it and made from that or removed from another set of anthrax, they don't know, but that is [what] was parented from that beaker. That's in March of 2005. He is brought before the grand jury and goes down there willingly without a lawyer and testifies in May of 2007, and I wasn't there.
And I could not have gone into the grand jury even if I were there because lawyers, no one's permitted into the grand jury. But he testified, he didn't take immunity, he didn't even invoke the Fifth Amendment, as he had done dozens of times beforehand, [he] answered every question they had.
Now they're saying, even though they have had their suspicions about him and attach all of this cosmic significance to the fact that it comes from RMR-1029, they've known that for two years and two months. He nevertheless goes there and answers all of their questions. And I think it's fair to say by then they had fully focused on him as a suspect.
At that point, how did he start reacting to the idea that he was the suspect in this case?
With me? I would never tell you that. That's a privileged matter.
When did he learn that he was the target?
To this date, a target letter has never been issued.
They make a big deal about what they call a "spike" in his late-night work, in the weeks before the anthrax letters were sent, that he was in the office at suspicious times, alone, in a particular part of the lab, that they questioned. They say this is not characteristic of his long-time work patterns. Is that true?
My understanding of it is different, that it was characteristic of his long-time work patterns and that he often went there. They're saying that he went more often at this time, at the times leading up to the two different mailings.
No. 1, they never verified for us the exact date of the mailings. No. 2, we never knew what the exact records were, but he'd been questioned about this, was questioned about it in the grand jury, gave them his best recollection, that he was having various family problems, both in his marriage, and concerning one of his children, at the time. And because of that, was having trouble getting work done during the day, went over there, was doing work at night, as he always did. And they had a chart showing he was always going in there, he just went more frequently during September and October, and then continued to do so right through the end of the year.
So it wasn't that he was in there like a mad scientist, whipping up an anthrax concoction, late at night?
To them, he certainly denied that, and presumably that would've come up on the polygraph test, and I don't know what the questions are. They refused to show me the polygraph questions and the polygraph protocols, meaning the response tapes. But I would assume the operator asked him a question something like, "Have you told law enforcement the truth concerning your activities around this time?" and that that would have generated a negative response.
In terms of the envelopes, they make a big deal about being able to tie defects in the envelopes that were used in the attacks to envelopes that they believe were sent to a post office box belonging to Ivins. Do you believe that the envelopes that Ivins purchased matched the envelopes in the anthrax attacks?
I have no information and I don't think there is any information of Ivins' purchasing envelopes. They didn't talk about that. They're saying, it was misstated yesterday, I guess it was properly stated in the affidavits, the person, [U.S. Attorney] Taylor, who spoke yesterday, garbled it or just got it wrong, and I'm not saying that's malicious, I think he just had a lot of detail to learn and didn't learn this detail.
They have a Secret Service document examiner who examined the stamps on these pre-franked envelopes [envelopes with prepaid postage] that contained the anthrax in the anthrax attacks. And because of microscopic defects, you're correct, he was able to tie those to lots or a set of envelopes that were mailed to three post offices that are listed in the search warrant affidavits, that are listed in all three search warrant affidavits: Elkton, Md., Cumberland, Md., and Fairfax, Va., the main post office in Fairfax, post offices that service the entire width of the state of Maryland and then the biggest post office in the state of Virginia.
Yesterday, Mr. Taylor says they came from a post office in Frederick, and that's just, if that's true, then maybe they misrepresented something to three different federal judges in obtaining these search warrants, or he just got it wrong, and I choose to believe it's the latter.
And so there's no connection to any post office that Ivins has ever had an account with and there's no evidence he ever purchased these envelopes in the search warrants that they executed.
They don't find anything incriminating, and in particular, they don't find any envelopes or tape that's used in his house, that are similar or have anything to do with this case, or even similar in the sense that they're pre-franked.
So they're just saying the envelopes that were used in the anthrax attacks were sold in Maryland. That's the extent of it?
They were sold in Maryland or Virginia. If you read the search warrant affidavits, the stuff that was released yesterday, it's Fairfax, you know, a jurisdiction of a million people, that anybody in the Washington metropolitan area could use. Or Cumberland, or Elkton, and Elkton is 10 miles from Wilmington, Del.
I don't know why I had it in my head from somewhere that he had purchased these envelopes and they were mailed to his post office box.
I think you had it in your head because it is something that was implied by Mr. Taylor yesterday when he said that they think these envelopes were purchased in Frederick, and he just got that wrong. And no reporter picked it up and no one asked him about it.
Speaking of post office boxes, he had a couple of post office boxes that he used under different names, two, that he used under different names?
I don't know about two. I know about one, and it was in a name they say, of Carl Scandella, and this is not privileged because he talked about this with me, but in front of the agents — and he readily admitted that to them.
And he did, he was very open with that?
Absolutely, told them about that, told them about the stuff concerning Kappa Kappa Gamma, and this other embarrassing information, personally embarrassing but totally irrelevant information.
So he offered that up to them, this isn't something that they stumbled upon?
No, no. I think they had information enough to question him about it without consulting with me and saying, "I think I better talk to you outside. We need to go over this." He went, "Yeah, that's correct, I had a post office box there and I had received this kind of information."
They say he was using this post office box to pepper 68 letters to the media and to Congress about issues that he was concerned about?
That's not quite correct, because 68 letters were the letters that were unmailed, they found in his house. I think other letters were letters they contended he had sent going back 30 years.
I see. So he was a prolific letter writer. They paint this very darkly, that he had real issues with the media, and with Congress, and that this was a dark side of him, that he was angry and he was using these to send, to fire off letters.
It is frightening to me, as a citizen, and certainly as a defense attorney, for people to characterize citizens who have trouble or questions or disputes with members of Congress or public officials, as having a dark side. That's the only thing I can comment to that. That does not prove a thing.
So he would write letters, but they were not in any way angry or targeted toward specific people, or he didn't fire off any letters to [Sen. Patrick] Leahy saying, you know, "Look out"?
To my knowledge, there is no threatening letter sent, there is no troubling letter sent, there are letters that may have taken issue with positions that individual legislators have had over the years.
But these post office boxes weren't to hide that, weren't to hide behind some other identity?
No, no. Not at all.
They brought up this idea that he had some sort of obsession with the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, what is this about? Was this something that was in some way dark?
Again, as he readily admitted, at a time ending, up from like 1978 to 1981, he had had this obsession with the rites and rituals of a particular sorority and had visited several sorority houses at different campuses, never Princeton — Princeton doesn't have any sorority houses, as you probably know — and admitted to having this preoccupation with Kappa Kappa Gamma.
He contended that it had come from the fact he had attempted to date a young lady, in his undergraduate time at the University of Cincinnati, and that she had rejected him ultimately, and so that was the springboard for his sort of preoccupation with Kappa Kappa Gamma. But nothing about that had occurred since 1981.
It hadn't come up at all? They posted something online that I guess he had written about his knowledge of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
But he never visited any chapters of Kappa Kappa Gamma or anything like that. It had been a subject of therapy for him, as he explained to the FBI and to the U.S. Attorney's Office, readily, fully. And had gone over that with them, and what he may or may not have written about that, I think is in line with what he readily disclosed to the law enforcement officers over the last seven years.
One of the things that comes up in this is his mental state. They make a point of saying that he was troubled, that he wrote e-mails that suggested he may even have a split personality, that he wrote poems that were disturbing in some way. What can you say about his mental state and the actions that he was taking?
Anything that I would say would inevitably be based on my impressions of him, as his lawyer, or therefore would be based on his communications with me and mine with him, so I can't comment on that.
I will say that based on the evidence that existed, and then what is known externally, apart from any such communications, it's clear he had a history of it. It's clear he was forthright with them about it. It's clear they knew about it when they were questioning him, and that it is not something he ever lied about, tried to hide, mischaracterized, or withheld from them.
Was it something that he was seeking help for?
Absolutely. Absolutely, repeatedly, just this year.
What was his relationship with psychiatrist Jean Duley? And is she the one who ended up getting him committed? And do you know if the FBI pressured Duley into getting him committed?
I have no knowledge of the FBI pressuring Duley. I think Duley, according to press accounts, I only know this part from press accounts, that Duley was cooperating with the FBI and had provided them with statements. Ms. Duley — I believe that's her name now, that did not used to be her name apparently — is training to become a social worker or some sort of a counselor. She is not certified. And she worked for a counseling firm that's based in Frederick, to whom Dr. Ivins was referred to after his discharge from the Massey Center at the state hospital in Cumberland, for alcohol abuse in May of this year, and that's how their relationship began.
That was when she was saying he wasn't one of her group therapy patients?
Correct. And there was follow-up treatment for that which he attended regularly, in which he was encouraged to talk about problems he was having, feelings of anger, feelings of rage, this kind of stuff. And I had no idea about her identity, her problems with addiction, her own personal problems, and the fact that she was not credentialed. And that's all come out since then.
She got up on the stand and gave this whole thing about how she knows, from other people, that he threatened, that he was going to be charged with five capital murders, and that she knows that he had some psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Irwin. Does any of this ring any bells with you?
Well, I know he was treated by a Dr. Irwin nine years ago, and I don't know if he had discussed that with her in their sessions or not. I wasn't there.
And I guess we were wondering if maybe she had sat down with the FBI and they said, "This guy has done this, this, this and this, and we need you to get up there and ask for a restraining order."
I would only be speculating on that. I can't give you any hard data on that, they're not going to tell me about it. When I had learned of this, he had already died.
Do you have any information about the idea that the FBI is coming down really hard on him. Has it been tough on the family? Was it tough on him to have the FBI putting him under constant surveillance?
P: Yes. It was very difficult for him, but again there I'd be getting into relating to you things he had told me, and I'm not going to do that.
But I know from the family they were very upset about their description of what occurred at the execution of the search warrant. And on November 1 of 2007, they were all taken from their homes and taken by the FBI to a hotel in the Frederick area.
I do want to add that [authorities] had called me and said they were doing it after they had removed the Ivins family from the home. So it's not as if they removed him incognito. And this was at the direction of Mr. Kohl and [U.S. Attorney Rachel] Lieber, that they contacted me so that I could go there, at 10 o'clock at night, on the first of November. And I did go there, and went there and met with them and calmed them down, and things of that sort. And the FBI was in the process of really a 24-hour search of the house and all the cars of the family.
And they split the family up?
They did. They put them in different rooms so that they couldn't, I suppose, get some statement together. But then while I was there, they let him consult with his wife and talk with his wife.
Did you find out anything about how the interview went with the kids?
I did, from the children. And they complained of their treatment from the agents. And I understand from the statement from Mr. Taylor that the agents denied that there were any problems, whatsoever. And I can't comment on the credibility of the agents vs. the children. I only know what I was told by the children.
What did they tell you?
The daughter indicated that the agents who came to see her and got her at her apartment in Hagerstown, Md., indicated that her father had killed five people and had tried to kill many more, and that they wanted to make sure that he could not kill anybody, anymore.
And she had a terrible reaction to that. And this is the same daughter who was upset in 2001, at the time he was under stress, Dr. Ivins was under stress, and, as he contended, was going and visiting the office, staying in the office at that time, just so he could do some work there because he was dealing with the problems with the daughter who, at that point, was in high school.
The son was told by the agents that there was a $2.5 million reward and that he could purchase a really nice car with that, and that's what the son had contended to me.
That's what the son told you?
And how were the two of them — were they upset by these interrogations?
How did they feel? What did they tell you they felt?
"How can they say that about our father? What do they think we are?" And, you know, "This is just wrong." They were very upset and angry.
The big motive in the case, according to the Justice Department, is that on the one hand, NBC had sent a FOIA to him that upset him greatly, in 2000, and that that's why he fired off an anthrax letter to NBC. And then the other motive was that he was trying to raise alarm, somehow, about the threat of anthrax because one of the private companies manufacturing an anthrax vaccine with the military was losing its FDA approval for the vaccine. The theory is Ivins wanted to drum up some anthrax interest in the world and get the contracts back in action.
All I can say is it sounds like mere speculation. They don't have anything that ties that to anything that Dr. Ivins actually did when he is under the tutelage and eye of the base commander, the scientist at Fort Detrick, continuing to work on these projects. Nobody there thought he should be stopped from working on it, as was testified to yesterday, or not testified, but given testament to yesterday, by the base commander and his supervisors, and the lieutenant colonel, who runs the program at Fort Detrick, that he, that Dr. Ivins was in charge of research for.
He was a model scientist who always had good humor, who was open and candid and did his work. All I know is that the FDA approved the extension of an already existing vaccine. And this speculation about the vaccine's license being terminated, the first I've heard about this is since the death of Dr. Ivins, so I've never checked that out and I've never had the opportunity to discuss it with him.
Do you think that Dr. Ivins had a motive to send anthrax through the mail and kill five people?
There is no motive that has been suggested to me that makes any sense. The answer to that is no.
Do you think he had a problem with NBC?
No. I don't think he had a problem with NBC.
What were your impressions of Ivins, personally? What kind of man was he?
My impressions of him were based on my communications with him so I can't give you that.
Have you heard from his colleagues at all at the memorial service? How was he described?
Absolutely. He was described in just very praiseworthy tones, and terms as being a "model scientist," "a great father," "a wonderful co-worker," and in particular, "a mentor of young scientists." One of whom gave a very eloquent and emotional eulogy for him after the base commander and after both civilian supervisor and military supervisor, all of whom got up and spoke, all of whom broke down crying. These were all soldiers and scientists. And it's held at the same time that the FBI is doing this release of these search warrant affidavits.
Is it troubling to you at all that in his death he's going to be painted as sort of this mad scientist killer?
Yeah, very much so. I know one of the New York tabloids calls him "Dr. Doom," like it's a joke, like it's funny. And the last thing it is is funny, for the families that suffered this, for the people who were injured by the anthrax, and certainly for the Ivins family. It's the last thing it is.
It seems like it must be difficult to try to defend him, at this point.
Well, I believe in what I'm saying. That's not difficult. But it's difficult because I don't have the ability to do what I can do for any other client, which is to test this case and to show the absence of any evidence that he did this, in a court of law, with all the rules of our Constitution and the rules our country holds dear. And now, I've lost that opportunity.
The Justice Department says that they feel like, without a doubt, they have found the anthrax killer. How do you feel? What does that make you think?
Based on what? Can they point to any evidence that shows he actually did anything that constitutes these anthrax attacks? Was present at the place where these letters were mailed? Ever admitted it to any single person, or to himself in a journal or diary entry? Or discussed it with another person?
We don't convict people on the idea that they may demonstrate eccentric behavior. Or that they had the opportunity to commit a crime, or had the knowledge to commit a crime, and that's what the government is saying.
They don't know what he did. He's never confronted by the FBI about what [he was] doing. The first question that the police ask in any case: "Where were you on Oct. 7 or 8?" He's never been asked that question by any law enforcement agent in the world, at any time. Or on the date of the September mailing, which, I frankly forget right now, whatever date that is.
So, at a time when he might remember it and get a restaurant receipt or a gas receipt or something that shows he was in Maryland or North Carolina, they say he was in New Jersey. Nobody saw him in New Jersey. They don't have any restaurant receipts or gas receipts or surveillance tapes or witnesses.
You know, where is a witness that can put him in New Jersey or put him on the way to New Jersey or put him on the way back from New Jersey, or having in his car a New Jersey Turnpike toll receipt?
They can show that the envelopes came from Maryland or Virginia. They can show that the anthrax came from Fort Detrick or from Battelle Labs in Ohio, or from the University of New Mexico, and that hundreds of people had access to it. That's what they can show. And that's all they can show.
So where was he on those dates that he could've been up in New Jersey?
I didn't learn of the dates until after he had died. So I never got a chance to ask him.
But there's no proof that he was up there at all, that you've seen?
The government admitted yesterday, they have no proof that ever at any time places him in the state of New Jersey, or in the state of Pennsylvania or the state of Delaware on the way to New Jersey, or however you can drive up there, you can go a couple of different ways.
So I can't; it is nothing but speculation in the government's case. And Mr. Taylor, for those portions of it that he got correct, yesterday, in terms of the details, didn't offer any evidence.
The most important thing the government did yesterday was show that there were three search warrants issued, and then what they offered as a result of those search warrants being issued, which are intended to get evidence, search warrants are not evidence. They are intended to obtain or procure evidence.
They didn't offer one single thing that came from those search warrants being executed. Not a single thing. Not one. They offered 68 letters that were not mailed, in Albert Camus' book, The Plague, that's what he chose to comment on, that's supposed to be significant.
That's supposed to be proof that a citizen is guilty of mass murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
Something that we didn't hear at the press conference is that a possible motive could have been that he was a fanatic, a pro-life person, and that he was angry, and he was using his mailboxes to fire off pro-life letters and that he was angry with Daschle and Leahy for their stance. Have you seen anything like that?
No, ma'am. They questioned him about that and he denied that that had ever been something that he was ardently involved with.
If that were going to actually be a part of his case, would you have ever have expected to see it in these documents yesterday?
I certainly would've expected to see it yesterday. And I certainly would've expected them to be able to develop it through people who know him, who would've engaged in similar activities. But they have had seven years to question and bring forth one human being to substantiate their theorizing.
OK, final question: Is there any part of you at any time, during this, that thought Ivins could've mailed these letters?
My job, in this case, is to serve as his defense attorney. And in that regard, it's not appropriate for me to ever comment on how I feel about any client and I never would. And I'm certainly not going to do it for Dr. Ivins.
Having said that, you know, the best way to answer that is this example. I went to this memorial service yesterday with 250 or 300 people that really know him a lot better than I do and have known him for a lot longer than I have in a normal setting, in a work place, a personal place. These are military people and scientists, people who don't take the word of somebody. They require proof. They're tough people, good people, and successful people. These are great scientists and medical people.
And they, to a person, they just, were in support of him. It was a very moving experience. And that's the best way I can respond to that question. If anyone had been at that memorial service and had seen it, they could not believe Bruce Ivins had engaged in this conduct.
Sounds like you liked him.
Well, that's immaterial.
Thank you so much.