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It sounds like a story begun by John Grisham and finished by John le Carr�. During the daytime Paul Gardephe worked as a litigator for AOL Time Warner Inc., defending the rights of journalists at Time Inc. But by night he headed a U.S. Department of Justice probe into Robert Hanssen, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who sold secrets to the Russians. “I haven’t had a boring life,” admits Gardephe, 45, who submitted his highly classified report on Hanssen to the FBI in May, a month before joining New York’s Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler as a partner. “I can’t complain.” How did an AOL Time Warner lawyer wind up investigating the FBI? The story begins in 1995, just after the arrest of Aldrich Ames, the Central Intelligence Agency officer who turned out to be a Soviet spy. Congress called for the Justice Department to look at the FBI’s role in the Ames debacle. Michael Bromwich, then the inspector general at Justice, tapped Gardephe, an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan at the time, to lead the investigation. Gardephe’s report, submitted two years later, highlighted the lack of internal controls at the FBI over access to secret espionage information. It also concluded that the possibility of a mole within the bureau could not be ruled out. Right after finishing the Ames report, Gardephe was lured to Time Inc. by Robert McCarthy, a former mentor who had become the company’s new GC. The two men knew each other from Patterson, Belknap, where McCarthy worked as a partner while Gardephe toiled as an associate. Time Inc. was starting to defend cases in-house, and Gardephe oversaw several libel suits. He also worked on employment and consumer marketing cases. “The guy is a glutton for work,” says McCarthy. A Second Investigation Then, in 2001, Robert Hanssen was arrested, only months before he was scheduled to retire after a 25-year career as an FBI agent, most of it specializing in counterintelligence. Gardephe’s conclusions from the Ames report � about the possibility of a mole within the bureau � suddenly looked remarkably prescient. The Justice Department once again called upon Gardephe to conduct an internal probe of the FBI. “It involved a lot of the same issues [as the Ames investigation],” says deputy inspector general Paul Martin. “We knew [Gardephe] . . . . He has a terrific mind.” But the problem was that Gardephe didn’t work for the government anymore. The Justice Department and Time Inc. had to figure out how he could conduct the Hanssen investigation while continuing to work at the company. “Ideally, we wished he could work for us full-time,” says Martin. “But if the choice was going to be part-time or no-time, part-time was better.” Time Inc.’s McCarthy says, “When Paul came and asked me about this, I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ This was not high in the list of my priorities for his time.” Like Martin at the Justice Department, however, McCarthy figured that he’d rather share Gardephe than lose him entirely. “I smoothed the way in the gargantuan bureaucracy at AOL Time Warner,” McCarthy says. The company agreed to allow Gardephe to work one day a week for the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., in addition to late nights at an FBI office in New York. (He couldn’t bring materials from the Hanssen investigation to his Time office or home.) Gardephe headed a team of two Justice Department lawyers and five agents and analysts. He was paid by the government at an hourly rate. Gardephe says he ended up working between 20 and 25 hours a week on the Hanssen case. Meanwhile, he was also working about 50 hours a week at Time Inc. McCarthy says Gardephe’s responsibilities remained as significant as ever, including the litigation of a controversial invasion of privacy case involving Sports Illustrated. In January 2003 Gardephe left Time Inc. to work on the Hanssen investigation full-time so that he could finish the report. His team submitted its findings to the FBI in May, and is reviewing the 200 pages of comments the bureau supplied in response. Gardephe is now back at his old law firm of Patterson, Belknap, where he plans to develop a white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations practice. Having taken on the FBI twice, he certainly has the experience.

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