SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Attorney Jesse Trentadue, pursuing the 1995 death of his brother in an Oklahoma prison, has disclosed a document concerning an informant at a white supremacist camp telling federal authorities of a threat to blow up federal buildings before the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Trentadue said he also discovered an FBI report on a 1997 interview with a Houston man who portrayed himself as a white supremacist and said he had spoken with bomber Timothy McVeigh a few days before the deadly attack on the Murrah Building. In that interview, the man discussed how the truck carrying the explosives was parked too far away to inflict the maximum damage possible.
The documents were filed in U.S. District Court by Trentadue as part of his effort to obtain records on the bombing, which he believes hold clues to the death of his brother in a federal prison. The lawyer, who did not disclose where he got the material he introduced, contends that the FBI is violating the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to provide the requested documents.
Kenneth Trentadue, 44, was found dead on Aug. 21, 1995, in his cell in a federal prison in Oklahoma, where he was being held on an alleged parole violation. The death was ruled a suicide, but family members believe he was killed during an interrogation by authorities who mistakenly believed he had been involved in the bombing a few months before.
Jesse Trentadue and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen argued before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball on Thursday over whether the FBI should be required to release requested documents.
Trentadue contends the government is wrongly claiming that the documents either can't be found or contain confidential information that exempt them from disclosure.
He said the FBI wants to conceal its mishandling of the investigation into activities at the white supremacist camp and its failure to stop the Oklahoma City bombing.
Christensen argued that the FBI did its best to reasonably respond to Trentadue's documents request, but releasing the names of FBI agents, informants and people of interest connected to the bombing could put the lives of many people in danger.
Christensen said that danger far outweighs any public interest in the release of their names.
Trentadue said what the FBI is really afraid of is putting their informants and agents at risk of criminal and civil liability from the government and the families of victims in failing to act to prevent the bombing.
Kimball took the matter under consideration and will issue a decision later.