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In February 1993, the Criminal Division of the UnitedStates Department of Justice (the "Department") informed theOffice of Professional Responsibility ("OPR") of allegations ofprofessional misconduct and criminal wrongdoing by agents of theU.S. Marshals Service ("Marshals Service"), the Federal Bureauof Investigations ("FBI"), the United States Attorney's Officefor the District of Idaho ("USAO"), and the Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms ("BATF"), stemming from their involvementin the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of RandyWeaver and Kevin Harris. Because Weaver and Harris wereawaiting trial, OPR in conformity with its normal policy ofavoiding interfering with the criminal process, postponed itsinquiry until the litigation had concluded.

Following the jury verdict in July 1993, OPR began itsinquiry. OPR was aware of numerous allegations of impropriety,some of which had been raised in defense pleadings and manyothers that arose during and immediately after trial. Allegations by various people and groups -- the media, the trialcourt, the United States Attorney's Office, the FBI, and U.S.Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, as well as the public -- suggestedthe personnel of the United States government had engaged inwillful misconduct, including obstruction of justice, perjury ,and other criminal and ethical violations. As a result, itbecame apparent that the scope of inquiry needed to be broaderthan merely issues that had been raised at trial by the defense.

Attorney General Janet Reno announced that the inquirywould include a complete and thorough review of the Weaver casefrom its inception to the conclusion of the criminal trial. OPRwas to conduct this inquiry with investigative support from theFBI.

On July 26, 1993, Michael E. Shaheen, Jr., Counsel in theOffice of Professional Responsibility detailed the role of OPRand the FBI in the inquiry in a letter to David G. Binney,Assistant Director of the FBI's Inspection Division. Concernshad been raised about the FBI's ability to be objective and toinvestigate alleged misconduct by its own agents. Some who hadparticipated in the Weaver investigation and prosecution and hadexperienced a decided lack of harmony in their workingrelationship with the FBI, opposed the Bureau's involvement inthe investigation. However, OPR's experience with the FBI ininvestigations in which the FBI was the subject -- including aninvestigation of its own Director -- demonstrated that theBureau could be objective under OPR's supervision. Furthermore,the broad scope of the Weaver inquiry and the need for FBIexpertise suggested that the Bureau be included in the inquiry.

From the beginning of the investigation OPR attorneysestablished that they would control the investigation, analyze the information gathered, and make finding and recommendations. The FBI's role was limited to assisting in gathering facts andconducting interviews. The FBI was not to make findings,conclusions, or recommendations.

Due to the expansive scope of the inquiry, former DeputyAttorney General Philip Heymann assigned four attorneys from theCriminal Division of the Department of Justice to assist OPR. It was decided that the review would cover: the conduct of theMarshals Service in its investigation of Randy Weaver from itsinception to the conclusion of the trial; the actions of the FBIHostage Rescue Team ("HRT") during the siege of the Weaverresidence; the handling of evidence by the FBI Laboratory andits effect on the Weaver trial; and the conduct of the U.S.Attorney's Office in investigating and prosecuting the Weavercase.

OPR contacted the Department of Treasury ("DOT"), whichhad also received complaints about BATF's conduct and agreedthat its Inspector General's Office would investigate thatmatter. However, it was understood that OPR would address thoseelements of the BATF investigation that affected the Weaver caseand involved Department of Justice employees. To that end, OPRinvited DOT to participate in interviews relevant to itsinvestigation and to review material -- other than grand jurytestimony -- that would assist its inquiry. Although DOT ispreparing a report of its investigation, this report discussesissues involving BATF that affected the Weaver matter.

The FBI initially assigned 15 Inspectors and twoadministrative support personnel to the Ruby Ridge InspectionTeam to work with the five DOJ attorneys. During the firstphase of the inquiry, the team developed an investigative focus,established a management system, and attempted to identify,through research and selected interviews, the issues to beaddressed. By August 1993, the team had determined thebackground interviews that needed to be conducted and hadidentified documents that needed to be reviewed, including casefiles and supporting materials form the Marshals Service, theUSAO, and the FBI.

Initially, the investigators used a research systemconsistent with a typical FBI investigation. However, they soonrealized that a thorough review of the Weaver matter wouldbenefit from the support of the FBI's Rapid Start team of theInformation Resources Division of FBI Headquarters. Rapid Startis a mobile group of FBI employees who provide informationmanagement services to major cases. The Rapid Start teamdeveloped an automated case management system to assist theinvestigators in capturing, storing and retrieving information. The team also assisted the investigation in tracking leads andwith document control.

As Phase I of the investigation entered its final stages,it became apparent that the volume of material to be reviewedand the broad scope of the inquiry would require more personneland time than had originally been contemplated. A decision wasmade to increase the size of the investigative team. Thus, whenPhase II of the investigation began on September 21, 1993, theRuby Ridge Inspection Team was doubled in size to include twofull-time Inspectors, 26 Assistant Inspectors, and 10 supportpersonnel.

Phase II was the investigative phase of the project. Theinspectors were divided into the four teams. The first team wasresponsible for issues involving BATF and the Marshals Service. The second and third teams focused on the FBI role in the caseincluding the FBI Laboratory, the FBI's handling of the crimescene, and the actions of the FBI HRT and its Rules ofEngagement. The last team examined the actions of the USAOthroughout its involvement in the Weaver matter. Each team wascomprised of a DOJ Attorney, an inspection team leader, and fiveor six inspectors. The inspectors were encouraged to coordinatetheir inquiry with the DOJ attorney. Many interviews involvedwitnesses who had knowledge of issues being investigated by morethan one team. In those instances, inspectors from the otherteams either attended the interview, scheduled separateinterviews, or submitted preliminary questions to determinewhether an additional interview was necessary.

The FBI inspectors and DOJ attorneys conducted over 370interviews of persons involved in the Ruby Ridge incident,including personnel of local, state, and federal law enforcementagencies, the USAO, the Department of Justice, as well as membersof the federal judiciary and nongovernmental witnesses.[FN1]The interviews were conducted throughout the United States and,in some instances, supplemental interviews were conducted forclarification. Although the majority of the interviews wereconducted by FBI inspectors, virtually all significantinterviews were conducted jointly by FBI inspectors and DOJattorneys. In addition, thousands of pages of records and fileswere reviewed.

Before the interview process began, DOJ and FBI personneldeveloped a witness notification form describing the scope andpurpose of the inquiry. Each witness executed this form beforebeing interviewed. In addition, witnesses were asked to executewaiver forms before statements were taken. In some instances,interviewees were represented by counsel or declined tovolunteer information, instead relying on earlier sworntestimony or statements.

On November 8, 1993, then Deputy Attorney General PhilipHeymann responded to renewed objections to the investigativerole of the FBI in the inquiry. Heymann received the assuranceof the attorneys in charge of the inquiry that they couldaccommodate interviewees who requested interviews outside thepresence of the FBI. The attorneys assured these intervieweesthat the FBI was assisting them in gathering facts but thatthe final report and its conclusion and recommendations wouldoriginate from the DOJ attorneys. However, these intervieweeswere advised that a record of their interviews would be given tothe FBI to assist its inquiry. In addition, we cautioned allthose interviewed that the Attorney General might release aversion of our final report to the public and, therefore, wecould not assure their confidentiality.

On January 19, 1994, the FBI investigators submittedtheir report of factual finding to the DOJ attorneys. Followingthe receipt of the FBI report, the DOJ attorneys completed theirreview of all pertinent materials and wrote a report analyzingthe many allegations. The original team of lawyers was assistedby two attorneys from the Criminal Division who providedadditional research and analysis. In addition, another OPRattorney assisted in the final stages of the preparation of this report.

This report was structured to be read in its entirety orin isolated sections. The Factual Summary, Chronology, and theIdentification of Participants sections are intended to providea general overview of significant events, which will assist thereader in understanding the detailed discussions that follow. Specific topics are generally arranged in chronological orderand contain detailed discussions of the relevant facts, theissues raised and the finding made. Finally, we conclude with asection which sets forth recommendations, most of which aredesigned to anticipate and avoid the kinds of problems subjectto this inquiry. An Appendix accompanies this report, butbecause of the volume of source material used in this inquiry,it includes only the most significant documents.


1. The following groups of people were interviewed: 52FBI HRT members, 60 Marshalls Service Special Operations Grouppersonnel, 41 FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Team members,three BATF agents, eight Marshal Service management personnel,15 Marshals Service personnel directly involved in the Ruby Ridgecrisis, ten FBI Headquarters personnel, four FBI negotiators, 43Idaho State Police members, 26 members of other agencies, 31 FBIfield office personnel, 17 FBI Laboratory personnel, and 30other persons involved with the prosecution, including personnelfrom the U.S. Probation Office and the U.S. Attorney's office.

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