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By Jeremy A. Kaplan, Judson Berger
Published February 22, 2013
A four-year FBI investigation into the transfer of classified weapons technology to China and other countries from NASA's Ames Research Center is being stonewalled by government officials, sources tell FoxNews.com.
Documents obtained by FoxNews.com, which summarize these and other allegations and were given to congressional sources last week by a whistle-blower, described how a "secret grand jury" was to be convened in February 2011 to hear testimony from informants in the case, including a senior NASA engineer. But federal prosecutor Gary Fry was removed from the case, which was then transferred from one office in the Northern District of California to another where, according to the documents, "this case now appears to be stalled."
"The information is staggering," the whistle-blower told FoxNews.com.
A Justice Department spokesman on Thursday told FoxNews.com it "does not comment on grand jury proceedings," as a matter of longstanding policy. Fry, reached for comment late Thursday, also would not confirm or deny the claim.
The claims originate with several past and current NASA employees concerned with the systemic leak of highly sensitive information relating to missile defense systems, as well as what they call a troubled investigation into the leak.
The documents claim the FBI has been working with other agencies since 2009 on an investigation into foreign nationals working at Ames. This follows allegations by two Republican lawmakers earlier this month that the U.S. attorney's office in the Northern California district was ultimately denied by the Justice Department when it tried to proceed with indictments.
Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, denied claims her office was blocked in trying to proceed with the case.
"I am aware of allegations our office sought authority from DOJ in Washington, D.C. to bring charges in a particular matter and that our request was denied," she said in a written statement. "Those allegations are untrue. No such request was made and no such denial was received."
Yet two members of Congress, Reps. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in a statement to FoxNews.com that Haag's denial "conflicts with information we have received from federal law enforcement sources," and added "we hope that the DOJ Inspector General will take our request seriously." The lawmakers had requested, via letter, an IG investigation.
Rob Storch, a spokesman for the DOJ inspector general's office, confirmed to FoxNews.com the office received the letter from Wolf and Smith. "We're evaluating (the letter)," he said.
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Ames Research Center has been a center of high tech innovation for more than 60 years. As the space agency's mission has changed over the years since it was built, NASA has turned it into a commercial research facility, leasing out space to a number of companies including rocket firm SpaceX and tech giant Google, which leases 42 acres there through a holding company called Planetary Ventures....
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