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DOJ Lawyer Denies ‘Nefarious, Secret’ FBI Records System; Judge Isn’t Satisfied

Posted May 13, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: A federal judge in Utah has asked the FBI to explain why it hasn’t searched all possible databases and evidence rooms for surveillance tapes related to the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in response to a freedom of information request filed by Salt Lake City lawyer Jesse Trentadue, who believes his brother was mistaken for a bombing suspect, report the Deseret News and the Associated Press.

The death of Kenneth Michael Trentadue was ruled a suicide, but Jesse Trentadue believes his brother was strangled with handcuffs during an interrogation. Kenneth Trentadue’s body had 41 wounds and bruises, AP says. Jesse Trentadue believes surveillance tape will show another suspect who looks like his brother.

Waddoups appeared troubled by a recent California case criticizing the FBI records management chief for intentionally misleading the court about documents, the Deseret News says. The same manager is involved in the Trentadue case.

Department of Justice attorney Kathryn Wyer said the FBI has already provided Trentadue with 30 tapes and 200 documents, according to the Deseret News account. There is no indication, she said, that the FBI has a "nefarious, secret record-keeping system."

Updated at 8:10 a.m. to correct a spelling error in the headline.

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