by Doug Book, staff writer
“You need to know that Eric Holder…played a key role in covering up the torture-murder death of my brother, Kenneth Michael Trentadue.” (1)
This is what Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue wrote in December of 2008 to prospective incoming chairman of the Senate Justice Committee, Patrick Leahy. The newly elected Barack Obama had made Holder his choice for Attorney General and Trentadue was going to do everything in his power to stop this shameful appointment from going forward.
Kenneth Trentadue was killed in Oklahoma City on August 21st of 1995, four months after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building. He had been taken into custody by the FBI and placed in an isolation cell at a federal facility in El Reno, Oklahoma.
The official government report on cause of death presented to Trentadue’s family stated that Kenneth had hanged himself in his cell. But massive bruises and lacerations all over his body compelled even the Oklahoma City medical examiner to state “very likely he was murdered.” (2)
Unable to get satisfactory information from government officials on what had happened to his brother, in 1997 Jesse Trentadue filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the Department of Justice. In it, Trentadue made the extraordinary claim that the Department had “…[hidden] and destroyed evidence that would have exposed my brother’s murderers.” (1)
As a result of that lawsuit, in 2001 the Trentadue family was awarded $1.1 million and the federal judge indeed later ruled that “…the FBI had lied in court…and destroyed evidence.” (3)
Using emails and handwritten notes acquired in that lawsuit, Trentadue demonstrated in his correspondence to Patrick Leahy that then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder had engineered a scheme to sidetrack any investigation into his brother’s death in order to “…deflect congressional oversight and media attention…” (1)
Calling their agenda the “Trentadue mission”, members of Holder’s DOJ team compared their efforts to “…coordinating the invasion of Normandy.” They referred to “meeting with [Holder] to discuss ‘Trentadue-does’ and ‘Trentadue-don’t’ ” concerning a carefully crafted press release designed to announce that a federal grand jury had just concluded its work and found no reason to charge anyone with a crime. (1)
Of course that October 9th press release failed to say the grand jury had actually, secretly concluded its business in August, having been supplied with only the “evidence” the Department of Justice saw fit to provide.
The lengths to which Eric Holder and others went to stifle any investigation of the Trentadue affair make it clear that it was not simply a federal prisoner interrogation that went too far. Coach is Right will present the known history of this extraordinary Clinton Administration affair and cover-up through the coming days.
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