The neoconservative New York Sun is reporting
that Attorney General John Ashcroft halted arrests in the Israeli spy case last
"According to sources familiar with the investigation, the U.S. district
attorney in charge of the probe, Paul McNulty, has ordered the FBI not to move
forward with arrests that they were prepared to make last Friday when the story
broke on CNN and CBS. 'He put the brakes on it in order to look at it,' a source
familiar with the investigation told the Sun. 'To see what was there. Basically
the FBI wanted to start making arrests and McNulty said "Woa, based on
what? Let's look at this before you do anything."' . . .
"Mr. McNulty was only assigned the case by Attorney General Ashcroft
last Friday when federal agents came to AIPAC's offices in Washington to request
files and hard drives. 'Ashcroft wanted to make sure this case was being handled
properly,' the source familiar with the probe said. 'I would not expect any
action on this for at least three weeks.' This source added that a grand jury
is now being selected, but it was likely the charges, initially reported as
espionage, would be scaled back to the mishandling of classified information."
The Sun's owners, who include Conrad
Black, described the paper's outlook as "certainly
neoconservative" when they launched
it in early 2002.