A 10-page letter delivered to President Bush's Crawford ranch on Saturday by Fundamentalist LDS Church member Willie Jessop has not yet made its way to the White House.
In the letter, Jessop asks Bush to intervene on behalf of the hundreds of FLDS children, teenagers and young adults taken during a raid on the Yearning For Zion ranch near Eldorado, Texas, in early April.
A White House official told the Deseret News on Monday that the administration did not receive any letter at the ranch over the weekend. Jessop said he is not surprised, because he was told the letter would need to clear security channels before being sent on to the president's desk.
"I spoke with several Secret Service agents and a plainclothes guy who said he was familiar with what had happened (at the YFZ Ranch)," Jessop said. "He wanted to read the letter and did. He asked for a copy of the letter, which I gave him, and he told me it would take time to scan it and that he would get it to the president."
Jessop said that when he arrived at the ranch early Saturday morning he spoke with officers working security around the perimeter, who then called Secret Service agents to come speak with Jessop. Several reporters from various media outlets were also there, he added, and recognized his unique white Mercedes SUV.
"Some of the media recognized me and wanted to know what I was doing there, so I told them," Jessop said. "I was only there to deliver the letter. There were quite a few cameras, including a CBS satellite truck. We talked to the crews, and they wanted a copy of the letter, which we provided to them."
Texas child welfare officials said they removed every child from the YFZ community because the FLDS religion promotes a dangerous, abusive environment, an allegation denied by the parents and FLDS church. The children have been placed in temporary foster care facilities around the state and are awaiting individual court hearings that begin next week.A copy of the letter to Bush and an account of how Jessop delivered the letter can be found online at a new FLDS Web site, truthwillprevail.org.
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