Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
The McCurtain Daily Gazette has obtained a copy of U.S. Rep. Dan Rohrabacher’s tersely worded letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, asking him to comply with a federal judge’s order directing the Oklahoma City FBI office to provide records regarding their investigation at Elohim City and the Mid-west bank robbery gang.
Rohrabacher, R-Calif., recently interviewed convicted killer Terry Nichols and others with information concerning the April 19, 1995, bombing in Oklahoma City.
The congressman has indicated an interest in holding hearings into the FBI’s handling of that investigation and evidence of a foreign connection to the crime.
Dated Aug. 19, Rohrabacher implored the agency head, “I ask that you comply with Judge Kimball’s order and not make attempts to block his ruling by delay tactics or other judicial challenges. Further attempts by your agency to obstruct this case will only undermine the FBI’s credibility in the eyes of the public.”
Days ago, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball in Salt Lake City, Utah, ordered the Oklahoma City FBI office to turn over unredacted copies of all documents currently at issue in a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit involving additional evidence and the names of additional conspirators in the bombing case.
Also at issue is evidence related to the mysterious death of an inmate at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City four months after the bombing.
According to the judge, the materials would be reviewed in his chambers and then returned to the FBI.
Kenneth Michael Trentadue, was being held at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in 1995. The Trentadue family has been in a 10-year legal fight with the government, seeking answers to how their loved-one died while in a suicide proof cell in solitary confinement awaiting a minor parole violation hearing.
Photographs of the body of Kenneth Trentadue indicate he was badly beaten and possibly murdered.
Trentadue’s older brother Jesse is a civil lawyer in Salt Lake City and has located evidence that suggests his brother was beaten and tortured by federal agents who mistakenly suspected the inmate was a member of the Midwest bank robbery gang and also connected to McVeigh and the OKC bombing conspiracy.
In his order dated Aug. 16, Kimball directed the parties to appear before him on Oct. 12 to present additional arguments on whether the FBI is entitled to continue withholding evidence it may have of a failed sting operation at Elohim City involving the FBI and informants working for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Responding late last week as to whether the FBI would comply the court’s order, a spokesman for the agency in Oklahoma City refused comment on the suit. However, Special Agent Gary Johnson divulged that the FBI had an ongoing investigation into the OKC bombing.
If accurate, this renewed investigation might allow the FBI to blunt the judge’s order.
However, some believe this could be a legal tactic by the FBI to continue to withhold evidence in the bombing case and the death of Kenneth Trentadue.
“I’m outraged the FBI is contemplating such a tactic,” attorney Jesse Trentadue said after learning of Johnson’s statements. “They’re aren’t going to do any honest investigation of this. They’ll try to stonewall this federal judge. I want them to comply with this order and so does Rohrabacher.”
Trentadue’s litigation thus far has uncovered links between McVeigh and several subjects that frequented Elohim City, a paramilitary training camp in eastern Oklahoma.
For a decade since the bombing, senior FBI agents and lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice have argued that they never had any evidence that persons at Elohim City could be involved with McVeigh or the Oklahoma bombing.
But several weeks ago, a court order from Kimball forced the release of approximately 100 pages of documents by the Oklahoma City FBI office and some do indeed appear to implicate others in the bombing. The FBI, however, blacked out almost every name in those documents, along with whole sentences of other information regarding an undercover operation the FBI and others were involved with.
In the documents, the FBI notes the agency is monitoring McVeigh and Elohim City with the help of the SPLC – a tax-exempt civil rights group that was co-founded by Alabama attorney Morris Dees.
Dees confirmed participation in a covert operation at Elohim City, but refused to elaborate during an interview with this newspaper almost two years ago.
Noting the long struggle the Trentadue family has endured, Rohrabacher chided Mueller.
“It has been a decade since Kenneth Trentadue died in his BOP cell in the most troublesome and suspicious circumstances. His mother and family members deserve to have their questions answered by those whose custody he was remanded and who were responsible for his well-being. Moreover, the public deserves to know what happened to Mr. Trentadue while in the custody of their government,” the congressman wrote.
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