INVESTIGATIONS: The FBI: Just How Incorruptible?

Attorney General Edward Levi let it be known that he considered the matter "extremely serious." To officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Levi's comment was a monumental understatement. "Extremely serious in a pig's eye," said one. "It's a disaster." What the officials were referring to was a new investigation ordered by Levi into charges of corruption in the FBI'S ranks—for the first time in the bureau's long and virtually corruption-free history.

The hints of FBI wrongdoing began circulating late last year, soon after the House Intelligence Committee learned that there might...