WASHINGTON -- Sen. Mark Dayton on Wednesday accused FBI Director Robert Mueller of concealing information from Congress about FBI agent Coleen Rowley's critical memo in a meeting two weeks ago -- only hours before news of the memo became public.
"After that experience, I do not trust that you will divulge anything to us which is not already known," Dayton wrote in a letter to Mueller. "That means Congress will have to investigate everything involving the FBI, because otherwise it will be concealed from us and the American public."
Dayton, D-Minn., was one of about 30 senators to attend a briefing with Mueller on May 23. Dayton said the FBI director made no reference to the May 21 memo, which was reported a few hours later by The Associated Press.
"Had you told us then what we would learn during the next 24 hours, we would have asked you some difficult but important questions," Dayton wrote. "You managed to avoid them but at the expense of your credibility with me."
Rowley, the chief legal counsel in the FBI's Minneapolis office, wrote in her memo that FBI headquarters ignored her office's pleas to aggressively investigate alleged hijacking accomplice Zacarias Moussaoui following his arrest last August. She is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
FBI spokesman Bill Carter declined to comment on Dayton's letter.
"The director will respond to the senator," Carter said.
Dayton met briefly with Rowley on Wednesday. He said he thanked her for what she had done and told her about his own letter to Mueller.
Dayton told reporters that if Mueller wasn't willing to divulge the memo on the eve of its public release, it raised the question of what else the FBI was withholding from Congress.
And he said it reinforced the need for an outside commission to investigate how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11.
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