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University of Utah political scientist Tim Chambless is worried the FBI may be lurking over his shoulder as he attempts to write a book about the late syndicated columnist Jack Anderson.

Federal agents have pursued Anderson's papers, much to Chambless' dismay. The professor sent a letter to the FBI director Monday criticizing the agency and demanding its agents back off.

Chambless used many of the documents to write his dissertation in the mid-1980s. He is now working on a biography of the muckraking journalist known for rooting out government corruption. And he is trying to avoid any federal intrusion into his work.

Consider it a preemptive strike.

Chambless was contacted by the FBI in March but agents have not asked him for anything since. Still, he fears agents may come after his notes and records, so he sent six boxes to Salt Lake City attorney and former Clinton appointee Pat Shea.

"The six boxes are in a place where no one will find them and under my control," Shea said.

The letter, sent to FBI Director Robert Mueller, makes it clear that Chambless won't participate in any federal investigation of Anderson's works.

"The Anderson papers Professor Chambless has will not be released to any third parties, including the FBI," the letter states.

The FBI agent told Chambless the records may help in an espionage trial involving the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC. Two of AIPAC's former lobbyists are accused of sharing classified information with reporters. Chambless said he provided FBI agents with a catalogue of the documents two days after their request. But he has since worried about further involvement, following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the topic and Mueller's visit to Utah last week.

The FBI director said agents want "to identify what those documents might be before they're publicized to determine whether or not there would be an adverse impact on national security if they were made public."

Chambless, who has intimate knowledge of the information contained in 85 of the 200 boxes now stored at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said the papers contain nothing that would threaten the country's security.

But, he added, "Political security, yes. Political embarrassment, yes."

Chambless said the documents contain Anderson's Watergate notes and information about the U.S. government's attempt to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

The letter sent Monday is similar to the one the Anderson family sent in April refusing to allow government inspection of any documents.

In recent weeks, Chambless found that some Anderson-related documents held at the National Archive have been removed and he could find who removed the documents, for what reason and when.

"This is very troubling to me," Chambless said.

Though he refused to speculate, the missing documents may be part of a secret program by government agencies to reclassify tens of thousands of public documents at the National Archives. The 7-year-old program was disclosed in recent news reports resulting in more than 55,000 pages to be marked confidential that were once available to the public.

California-born Anderson died in his home late last year of Parkinson's disease at 83. He was raised in Utah and worked for both the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune.