Beyond the leaks about him, Hatfill's phones were tapped and he was subjected to round-the-clock surveillance. "Going down to the store for a pack of gum yields a parade of FBI cars, sometimes following me closely as two to four feet from my rear bumper," Hatfill said during a press conference.
"Try to put yourself back into that period of time. It was the first act of bio-terrorism on U.S. soil ever. Everybody was just tense as can be. If they thought that Steven Hatfill was the guy, why not shut him down? Put the spotlight on him? He can't move now," Stahl asks Connolly.
"It's an interesting justification from the mouth of a reporter. But it's never been from the mouth of any FBI agent. I've asked each one of them under oath," he replies.
"Do you know whether any disclosures regarding Dr. Hatfill that appeared in the press were ever done designed for a law enforcement purpose of sweating him?" Connolly asked Rick Lambert, a special agent.
"I'm not aware of that ever having been done," Lambert replied.
"They never told you that the reason was to keep an eye on him so he wouldn't do it again kind of thing?" Stahl asks Connolly.
"In fact, they specifically denied that," Connolly says.
Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has looked into the case and has concluded that there was leaking by top officials and that the purpose was not to shut Hatfill down, but to hide the lack of progress in the case.
"Do you have any evidence that they were planting information in the press that they knew was not true?" Stahl asks the senator.
"I believe the extent to which they wanted the public to believe that they were making great progress in this case, and the enormous pressure they had after a few years to show that, yes, that they was very much misleading the public," Sen. Grassley replies.
One reason they've had so much trouble solving the case is because this is a crime with no eyewitnesses and no fingerprints on the envelopes. Two sources familiar with the investigation tell 60 Minutes a tiny amount of DNA evidence was recovered from one of the envelopes. But when it was tested, it turned out to belong to an investigator who had contaminated this key piece of evidence.
Senator Grassley says a lack of forensic evidence is only part of the problem.
He believes the leaking has hurt the investigation itself. "Because it gave people an indication of where the FBI was headed for," Sen. Grassley says. "And if you knew what that road map was, that if you were a guilty person you would be able to take action to avoid FBI."
According to Special Agent Robert Roth his boss, Rick Lambert, got so fed up with the leaks, he tried to find out the source.
"Rick suggested after one particular leak that everyone on the case be polygraphed. He wanted to launch a criminal investigation," Roth said.
He said Director Robert Mueller rejected that idea; but to stop any future leaks,
Mueller ordered the various teams working on the case to stop sharing information.
"So for example, the agents working on the squad looking at the scientific and forensic signatures in the anthrax powder itself would not communicate any findings or results of investigation derived from that endeavor with the other squad which might be conducting investigation concerning persons of interest," Lambert said during deposition.