While Eric Holder is getting a lot of media attention these days related to his involvement in the controversial ATF gun-running program known as Operation Fast and Furious, Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue said he “was way ahead of the curve” when it came to pointing out the attorney general’s many flaws — and skeletons. He points to a scathing 4-page letter (PDF) he sent to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Dec. 19, 2008, as proof.
In the letter, Jesse Trentadue told the chair of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee the following:
You need to know that Eric Holder, now nominated to become Attorney General, played a key role in covering up the torture-murder of my brother, Kenneth Michael Trentadue. You also need to know that Mr. Holder did this while serving as Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General from 1997-2001.
This is not just my shocking opinion. It is also the opinion of many Americans. More importantly, it is supported by the Justice Department’s records and actions that came to light as a result of my family’s efforts to obtain a certain measure of justice for my brother’s murder.
Kenneth was killed in Oklahoma City in August of 1995. My family has spent over 13 years investigating my brother’s gruesome murder, including bringing a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in 1997. In that case, the Justice Department hid and destroyed evidence that would have exposed my brother’s murders, and we believe that Mr. Holder was directly involved in those acts of obstruction of justice.
In a footnote appearing on page one of that letter, Trentadue noted the following:
“Despite the destruction of evidence, the court awarded my family a $1 million judgment. We have used that money to offer a $250,000 reward for the people who killed Kenney. That offer is posted at: www.kmtreward.com. This site also contains the irrefutable evidence that my brother was murdered, which evidence was kept from us by the Justice Department.”
Trentadue’s letter continues:
To this day, however, despite the efforts of my family, numerous journalists, and Congress, the Justice Department has been able to hide this terrible story — and its culpability in the death of my brother Kenneth. More importantly, then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder was assigned to be the point man in blocking my family’s efforts to bring my brother Kenneth Trentadue’s murderers to justice. Now, President-elect Barack Obama has nominated Eric Holder to be the new Attorney General.
The paper trail on Mr. Holder’s actions is scant. However, e-mails and handwritten notes by those working under Mr. Holder in the Justice Department have surfaced. These documents paint a clear picture of a wide-ranging and cynical scheme, run directly by Mr. Holder, to quash my family’s efforts to have my brother’s murder investigated, and to deflect congressional oversight and media attention from the shocking circumstances of his death.
According to these documents, a significant part of this plan involved Mr. Holder convincing Congress not to inquire into my brother’s murder. The plan called for Mr. Holder to meet with Senator Hatch on October 9, 1997, just prior to the Justice Department’s issuance of a Press Release announcing that the federal grand jury supposedly “investigating” my brother’s murder had failed to charge anyone with this crime.
The stated purpose of this meeting between Mr. Holder and Senator Hatch was to defuse Judiciary Committee oversight and media inquiry into the circumstances of my brother’s death. In fact, one e-mail states that “we ain’t looking for press on this. Hill takes priority.”
But that meeting apparently did not go as planned by Mr. Holder, because the next day, October 10, 1997, Senator Hatch gave an exclusive interview to Fox News in which he spoke out against the results of the grand jury and the Justice Department’s handling of the case.
Rather than share Trentadue’s summary of what Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), now retired, told Fox News during the interview Oct. 10, 1997, I offer video (below) of the interview itself.
Did you catch that? Senator Hatch said, “There’s a lot wrong with this case.” Not surprisingly, Jesse Trentadue agrees and points anyone willing to listen to the remaining content of his letter to Senator Leahy (PDF) before noting the following:
Fast & Furious is only the “tip of the iceberg”;
Two U.S. Border Patrol agents are dead;
The Oklahoma City Bombing is the “iceberg”; and
168 bombing victims, plus his brother Kenneth Trentadue, are dead.
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