A Salt Lake City attorney will not be getting access to a sensitive government report regarding the mysterious death of his brother in a federal facility anytime soon.
A week after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the U.S. government's request to re-consider its decision allowing attorney Jesse Trentadue access to the conclusions of an investigation into accusations of a cover-up, attorneys for the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency filed on Tuesday a motion to stay the court's order, pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In its motion, the government stated the 10th Circuit's decision leaves open the risk of federal agents to be identified. "Under this anomalous decision, any disgruntled individual may gain access to sensitive law enforcement investigatory files by the simple expedient of publicly broadcasting his own unsubstantiated allegations," the document states. Attorneys for the Integrity Committee also argued that by giving the report over to Trentadue would "force the government to let the cat out of the bag, without any effective way of recapturing it if the district court's directive was ultimately found to be erroneous."
"The Integrity Committee is seeking refuge in the Supreme Court," Trentadue said Tuesday, who questioned why the government would go to such great lengths, after two courts have ruled to give him the report, to keep the report hidden.
Trentadue contends that the report shows that high-ranking Department of Justice officials, including DOJ's own inspector general, conducted a cover-up into the August 1995 death of Kenneth Trentadue in a Oklahoma City federal prison facility.
Jesse Trentadue contends that his brother was killed during an FBI interrogation as part of its investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing, in a case of mistaken identity. The death was officially ruled a suicide.
The Integrity Committee argued that the report was not public because it was a law enforcement investigation and that the actions of federal agents, along with their identities, should not be made public.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ordered the government to turn over the report. Last September, the 10th Circuit rejected the government's arguments, stating that agents who commit "serious acts of misconduct" should be disclosed so that the public can learn how law enforcement agencies deal with them. The court also noted concern that sections of the report that the government blacked out turned out to be public information. The circuit judges also found that although the government claims Trentadue's allegations are unsubstantiated, they felt the allegations are "adequately supported."
The government will have 90 days to filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court and a brief outlining its arguments.Trentadue said the U.S. Supreme Court will then decide if it will hear the case. If justices reject it, the 10th Circuit's ruling will stand but if they decide to hear the case it may be years before he will ever see the report.
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