A federal judge has ordered the FBI to investigate allegations the agency intimidated a witness into not testifying at a recent Freedom of Information trial related to evidence in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
This new court order, issued Aug. 26 by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups, marks the second time in a month Waddoups has instructed the FBI to investigate itself over allegations of witness tampering in the case brought by Salt Lake City lawyer Jesse Trentadue.
Waddoups has now scheduled a Nov. 13 hearing on the matter, in which Trentadue accuses the FBI of threatening to eliminate a former undercover agent’s health benefits if the agent took the stand to testify against the government.
The former agent, John Matthews, reportedly met convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh while working undercover for 10 years in the FBI’s Operation PATCON, which focused on infiltrating rightwing militia groups during the 1990s.
Trentadue had lined up Matthews to testify during last month’s trial in the Freedom of Information suit he filed against the FBI in 2008. He alleges in the suit that the agency has not turned over all of the videotapes it has of the events leading up to and including the detonation of the bomb on April 19, 1995, that killed 168 people in the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.