Key dates involving Steven J. Hatfill and the anthrax investigation:
September, October 2001: Anthrax is mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the news media in New York and Florida. Five people die and 17 others are sickened, including postal workers and others who came into contact with the powder.
June 2002: A U.S. official says the FBI is scrutinizing 20 to 30 scientists who might have had the knowledge and opportunity to send the anthrax letters.
August 2002: Law enforcement officials and Attorney General John D. Ashcroft call Hatfill, a biowarfare expert, a "person of interest" in the investigation.
August 2003: Hatfill sues Ashcroft and other government officials, accusing them of using him as a scapegoat and demanding that they clear his name.
July 2004: Hatfill sues the New York Times, claiming the newspaper ruined his reputation after it published a series of columns pointing to him as the culprit. The suit is dismissed in 2007 by a federal judge, ruling that the columnist did not act with malice.
June 2008: The federal government awards Hatfill $5.85 million to settle his violation-of-privacy lawsuit against the Justice Department.
Yesterday: The Justice Department officially clears Hatfill from involvement in the anthrax mailings, 10 days after Bruce E. Ivins, 62, dies in a suicide. The FBI had informed Ivins that charges were likely to be brought against him in connection with the anthrax attacks.
SOURCE: Associated Press