U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas
U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, is looking to obtain a publicly viewable set of investigative reports concerning jailed Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean and has asked the House Committee on Homeland Security to obtain such documents from the agency which has them.
Poe wrote a letter yesterday to Rep. Bernie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the committee, and to the committee’s ranking Republican member, Rep. Peter King of New York, making the request from the Department of Homeland Security.
On Monday, the committee received a classified version of the reports the agency had promised since a Sept. 26, 2006, meeting with members of the Texas Republican delegation.
“I have not read the classified version of the DHS investigative report,” Poe told WND, “because I did not want to get into my mind classified facts that could not be supplied to the public. My letter requests a copy of the DHS investigative documents that I can share with the public.”
DHS would produce a redacted version of the investigative report by blacking out any sections that contained classified information or information considered to violate various privacy protection statutes.
As WND previously reported, despite repeated requests, DHS has been stonewalling the requests of the Texas delegation for months, even objecting that DHS was no longer required to hand over the papers to the Republican congressmen because Republicans were no longer in charge of the committee.
The documents were only supplied after Poe filed a Freedom of Information Act request, as previously reported by WND.
“I’m glad DHS finally came around to deliver these documents after four and a half months,” Poe told WND. “DHS replied very quickly with the Freedom of Information Act request. Now I just want to see the redacted version and then we’ll go from there.”
He expressed a determination to get to the bottom of the Ramos-Compean case.
“I still want to know the motive of the government in this case,” Poe stressed. “Why did the federal government spend so many taxpayer resources to prosecute these two Border Patrol agents?”
“We have the two sides who apparently did something wrong,” Poe continued. “What bothers me is why doesn’t the federal government simply take the Border agents and reprimand them, give them a few days off without pay, tell them we’re going to file reports correctly from here on in.”
In contrast, Poe felt the drug smuggler was clearly in the wrong.
“But for sure, it ought to be easy to see that we have to put the drug smuggler in the penitentiary,” Poe said. “The drug dealer is the clear criminal here, not the Border Patrol agents.”
He was also concerned the federal government had made an immunity deal with the drug dealer, stating, “I hate backroom deals with criminals. They’re always suspicious. Once you start telling criminals that they’re going to get something for their testimony, then you start getting the testimony you want.”
WND asked Poe about a report the defense attorneys for Ramos and Compean had stipulated at trial the bullet was fired by Ramos, even though the government’s ballistics analysis may not have been conclusive.
Poe, who was previously both a Texas prosecutor and judge, commented, “As defense attorney you should never stipulate anything.”
“I want to see the transcript,” he added. “In a big case like that, the defense shouldn’t stipulate the facts. The prosecution generally wants the defense to stipulate to something that the prosecution can’t prove. I don’t know in this case, but the defense should never stipulate to anything in a trial, especially not on ballistics.”
Poe reflected on his eight years’ experience as a prosecutor.
“I loved being a prosecutor because I hate criminals. I’ve done it all. I prosecuted bad cops and bad people who did bad things to good cops, and as a judge I’ve tried cops and I’ve tried people who killed cops. I don’t like criminals, but I’ve seen enough cases that I know how things operate and you always make the prosecution prove their case.”
Regarding the Ramos and Compean case specifically, the congressman said: “We’re not through on this. I want to study the redacted DHS investigative report and we need to get that trial transcript released by the court so we can read it. I’m sure we’re going to have more questions before this is all over with.”
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