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Wincup said, “Whether they got the right person ... it certainly appears they did. I hope they did.”
Daschle said doubts have surfaced for some because of the apparent confusion in the FBI in the early days of the investigation and the agency’s mistaken focus on another government scientist, Steven Hatfill. But he said, “I’m reasonably confident and satisfied that [the FBI has] done all they can to come to this conclusion.”
Regardless of who is responsible, Daschle and his staff said the incident brought them closer to each other. Over the years, they have remained in touch even as they went their separate ways after Daschle’s 2004 election loss to GOP Sen. John Thune. The separation from each other just three years after their harrowing ordeal “just added to the grief that any staffer feels when their boss is defeated,” Erickson noted.
Daschle said he keeps in touch with Leslie, mainly through his daughter, who is her friend, and that he attended Leslie’s wedding in recent years.
Martin just had lunch with former Daschle Chief of Staff Laura Petrou a few weeks ago. Wincup, who has gotten together with Leslie and others over the years, is now a lobbyist for the Information Technology Industry Council. He is married and has a 9-month-old daughter. Leslie works for the Glover Park Group as a lobbyist.
Erickson served as the Democratic representative in the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms office, before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) appointed her Secretary of the Senate in 2007.
Overall, Wincup said the experience has made him view other terrorist attacks in a new light.
“It has a way of shrinking the world and letting you know that anything could happen to you,” he said. “You could be in a situation where the anthrax letter is opened right next to you. ... It lets you know you’re not impervious to these things.”