SALT LAKE CITY (CN) – A federal judge has ruled that federal intelligence agencies must comply with Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the attorney brother of a man who died at an Oklahoma federal prison in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing.
In 2006, plaintiff Jesse Trentadue, a Utah attorney with Suitter Axland PLLC, filed three separate FOIA requests for CIA and FBI information concerning the 1995 attack.
The CIA rolled Trentadue’s requests into a single requisition.
Trentadue had agreed to pay production costs for the information, but the CIA refused to give him a definite date by which he would receive the materials. Thereafter, the agency ignored his correspondences in total, he alleges.
Trentadue filed a complaint for refusal to produce documents in 2008. He said that the CIA combined the requests in efforts to delay producing the materials and to raise production costs.
Trentadue later amended his complaint to include the FBI and its Oklahoma City field office.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the agencies must release videos and other materials collected during the two weeks immediately following the bombing, “or provide evidence as to why such a search is so burdensome as not to be required.”
The agency must also submit an affidavit from David M. Hardy, an FBI representative that lied about surveillance records while testifying in Islamic Shura Council of Southern California v. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hardy must affirm that he doesn’t know of either the existence of or likely locations of video tapes that Trentadue requested, Waddoups ruled.
According to the ruling, “Defendants are to affirm whether in this case Mr. Hardy or any other of its affiants has misrepresented information or provided incomplete or otherwise misleading information to the court under an asserted right to protect the interests of the United States.”
Trentadue contends that Hardy’s mistruths link to his complaint, too.
Trentadue’s brother, Kenneth “Kenney” Trenadue, a one-time bank robber, died while in custody at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center in 1995.
Kenney Trentadue was transported from Southern California to Oklahoma City for a parole violation shortly after the bombing.
A dragon tattoo on Kenney’s left arm may have appeared to match that of a supposed doe accomplice who helped Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh, the men behind the second largest attack on U.S. soil, rent a Ryder truck in Kansas.
U.S. marshals jetted Kenney to the federal prison from a county jail on the Mexican border after he was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. The Trentadue family was notified that Kenney was dead six weeks after he arrived at the prison.
Authorities said that he committed suicide and was found hanging from a bed sheet in solitary confinement.
Waddoups ruled that the defendant agencies must provide evidence that computer drives and other files at an evidence control center in Oklahoma City and the FBI’s crime lab have been thoroughly searched. He also demanded a declaration stating that Hardy has no has no knowledge of the whereabouts of the information.
Waddoups deferred ruling on the defendants’ motion for summary judgment pending the submission of their supplemental memorandum, supporting evidence and further argument.