FBI Whistleblower Takes Legal Action Demanding Co-Worker Be Deposed

Attorneys for FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds filed papers with the federal district court in Washington, D.C., Tuesday demanding that one of Edmonds' co-workers at the bureau's monitoring division that listens to wiretaps be deposed under oath -- by a subpoena if necessary -- before she leaves the country.

Edmonds alleges that her co-worker mishandled national security information and that the FBI has turned a blind eye.

Edmonds' attorney Kris Kolesnik told Fox News that the U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. and the U.S. Airforce have both agreed that a deposition is warranted. Kolesnik says that the co-worker in question has also agreed to be deposed along with her husband but that so far the FBI and the Justice Department have taken no action.

The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a top Republican on the panel expressed concern Tuesday that the Justice Department was not fully cooperating with the probe into alleged security lapses in the FBI's translator program.

The program has played an important role in interpreting interviews and intercepts of Usama bin Laden's network since Sept. 11, including translating such sensitive documents as Al Qaeda-related wiretaps, documents recovered in Afghanistan and interrogations of Al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

The charges were raised in a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft from committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the crime and drugs subcommittee.

Justice Department officials acknowledged receiving the letter but declined further comment.

The department's inspector general is investigating charges by Edmonds, a former contract linguist for the bureau, of security problems with another linguist. Edmonds also charged the linguist with translating some innocuous information rather than important, intelligence-related material. Edmonds was fired last spring for performance issues.

"We are troubled that the Department of Justice, including the FBI, may not be acting quickly enough to address the issues raised by Ms. Edmonds' complaints or cooperating fully with the inspector general's office," the senators wrote.

FBI officials have said they believe the program is solid and secure. The Associated Press reported in June that the agency was investigating the charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.