On the same day that the federal government moved to block the release of a sensitive government report to a Salt Lake City attorney, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the motion to stay and ordered the government to release the documents.
Judges with the 10th Circuit were swift in their action, filing an order denying the government's motion to stay pending an appeal of the court's decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, within hours of receiving the motion.
Attorneys for the government had filed a motion Tuesday seeking to block an investigation report from being provided to attorney Jesse Trentadue. They argued that the release of conclusions from an investigation into accusations of a cover-up by high-ranking Department of Justice officials would make their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court moot.
Jesse Trentadue has been locked in a legal battle with the federal government for years, trying to prove that his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was killed in August 1995 during an FBI interrogation at a federal prison facility in connection to the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Kenneth Trentadue, a paroled convicted bank robber, was picked up in California on a parole violation and transported to Oklahoma City for further proceedings. Jesse Trentadue claims in a case of mistaken identity, FBI agents thought his brother was a man they were looking for connected to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that took the lives of 168 adults and children.
Kenneth Trentadue was found hanging in his cell. A government investigation into the death ruled it a suicide.
Having found what he claims is evidence that DOJ officials destroyed documents related to his brother's death and instructed witnesses to lie about the death, Jesse Trentadue asked the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency to investigate. The Integrity Committee suddenly dismissed the case without any explanation and refused to hand over its report to Trentadue after he made a request through the Freedom of Information Act.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball, ordered the government to turn over the report. The government appealed but last September the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the government's arguments and ordered the report released. The government then requested that the 10th Circuit re-heard the case, which was rejected. This week, the government sought a stay of the 10th Circuit's order so it could appeal to the Supreme Court, which was immediately rejected by the court the same day.
Trentadue has wondered why the government has gone to such great lengths to keep the report from being released.
"This leads me to believe that there must be something very ugly in those records which the Court want the public to see," Trentadue said. However, he suspects that the government may seek a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court, which they must do very soon.