BRET BAIER: Former U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate is defending his call for people to harass a United States attorney because of his prosecution of a suspect in a terrorism case. Correspondent Caroline Shively has this story.
CAROLINE SHIVELY: Former democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel was caught on audiotape last week in Washington telling a crowd of people this about a federal prosecutor:
"Find out where he lives and find out where his kids go to school and find out where his office is and picket him all the time. Call him a racist in signs if you see him. Call him an injustice. Call him whatever you want to call him, but in his face all the time."
The Investigative Project on Terrorism obtained the tape of Gravel and provided it to FOX. Gravel can be heard telling people a way to pressure Gordon Kromberg, as assistant U.S. attorney in the eastern district of Virginia into dropping criminal contempt charges against Sami Al-Arian. Al-Arian is a former professor who in 2006 pleaded guilty to providing goods and services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Prosecutors tried him on more serious charges but that ended in a hung jury, so Al-Arian took a plea.
STEVE EMERSON: The evidence at the trial overwhelmingly showed and demonstrated that he was head of the Islamic jihad network in the United States. Gravel told us that he doesn't want people to break the law and that he personally wouldn't do these things, but that it could be an effective way to change the behavior of U.S. Officials. The former U.S. Senator said he heard of a case of young people going after bankers this way and that it was successful.
MIKE GRAVEL: How do you deal with this sort of injustice? I wouldn't protest. I don't believe in protests. It demonstrates the failure of representative government. My answer to that problem is that I want to empower you as a lawmaker so that you can make laws. Don't rely on your elected officials.
SHIVELY: Some terror analysts don't buy that explanation.
EMERSON: The question is whether he crossed the line in saying "find out where his kids go to school." That, to my mind, and to government officials, including those in the F.B.I., crosses the line into a direct veiled threat.
SHIVELY: Kromberg's boss, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg, wouldn't comment on Gravel's statement but had this to say about the prosecutor's work:
"Gordon Kromberg is a dedicated, talented and scrupulously fair prosecutor. Further, when we decide to prosecute an individual, that decision is based strictly on summary facts and the law, and in the pursuit of justice, period."
Al-Arian is still sitting in a Virginia jail, charged with contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury. He has also been ordered deported but the U.S. is still searching for a country that will take him.