Judge: More details needed to determine if FBI tampered with witness in Oklahoma City bombing case
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KSTU) – A federal judge in Utah has indicated that he wants an investigation into whether the FBI tampered with a witness in a trial regarding the Oklahoma City bombing.
At a hearing on Tuesday, the judge stopped short of finding the FBI in contempt of court, according to KSTU.
Instead, he indicated that he would appoint a federal magistrate judge to oversee further investigation into the claims.
However, he ruled that the FBI failed to file a report on the allegations in a timely manner.
Jesse Trentadue is suing over the death of his brother, Kenneth, who he claims was mistaken for a bombing co-conspirator and killed while in federal custody during an interrogation.
Trentadue is asking for records, including videotapes that he claims show convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh parking a truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and leaving with someone else before the bomb went off.
Trentadue has claimed that the other person was an FBI operative.
“There’s no doubt in my mind and it’s proven beyond any doubt that the FBI knew the bombing was going to take place months before it happened,” Trentadue said. “They didn’t stop it, and then the question becomes, ‘How did you know and why didn’t you stop it?”
The FBI has insisted that it had no knowledge of the bombing before it happened.
As part of his case for the FBI’s records, Trentadue wanted to call John Matthews to take the stand.
He claims Matthews was an undercover government operative who knew Timothy McVeigh.
Before going before a judge, Matthews told an operator and an FBI agent that he did not want to testify.
Trentadue accused the FBI of intimidating Matthews into refusing to testify, claiming FBI Special Agent Adam Quirk spoke with him before the trial.
A report from the Justice Department shows that investigators found that no witness tampering took place.
However, it did chastise the FBI for not notifying the department about the conversation with Matthews, saying Agent Quirk gave a response that could be “construed as legal advice.”