In February 1993, the Criminal Division of the UnitedStates Department of Justice (the "Department") informed theOffice of Professional Responsibility ("OPR") of allegations of professional misconduct and criminal wrongdoing by agents of the U.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 were awaiting trial, OPR in conformity with its normal policy of avoiding interfering with the criminal process, postponed its inquiry until the litigation had concluded.

Following the jury verdict in July 1993, OPR began its inquiry. 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 trial court, the United States Attorney's Office, the FBI, and U.S.Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, as well as the public -- suggestedt he personnel of the United States government had engaged in willful misconduct, including obstruction of justice, perjury, and other criminal and ethical violations. As a result, it became apparent that the scope of inquiry needed to be broader than merely issues that had been raised at trial by the defense.

Attorney General Janet Reno announced that the inquiry would include a complete and thorough review of the Weaver case from its inception to the conclusion of the criminal trial. OPR was to conduct this inquiry with investigative support from the FBI.

On July 26, 1993, Michael E. Shaheen, Jr., Counsel in the Office 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. Concerns had been raised about the FBI's ability to be objective and to investigate alleged misconduct by its own agents. Some who had participated in the Weaver investigation and prosecution and had experienced a decided lack of harmony in their working relationship with the FBI, opposed the Bureau's involvement in the investigation. However, OPR's experience with the FBI in investigations in which the FBI was the subject -- including an investigation of its own Director -- demonstrated that the Bureau could be objective under OPR's supervision. Furthermore, the broad scope of the Weaver inquiry and the need for FBI expertise suggested that the Bureau be included in the inquiry.
From the beginning of the investigation OPR attorneys established 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 and conducting interviews. The FBI was not to make findings, conclusions, or recommendations.

Due to the expansive scope of the inquiry, former Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann assigned four attorneys from the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to assist OPR. It was decided that the review would cover: the conduct of the Marshals Service in its investigation of Randy Weaver from its inception to the conclusion of the trial; the actions of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team ("HRT") during the siege of the Weaver residence; 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 Weaver case.

OPR contacted the Department of Treasury ("DOT"), which had also received complaints about BATF's conduct and agreed that its Inspector General's Office would investigate that matter. However, it was understood that OPR would address those elements of the BATF investigation that affected the Weaver caseand involved Department of Justice employees. To that end, OPR invited DOT to participate in interviews relevant to its investigation and to review material -- other than grand jury testimony -- that would assist its inquiry. Although DOT ispreparing a report of its investigation, this report discusses issues involving BATF that affected the Weaver matter.

The FBI initially assigned 15 Inspectors and two administrative support personnel to the Ruby Ridge Inspection Team to work with the five DOJ attorneys. During the first phase 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 be addressed. By August 1993, the team had determined the background interviews that needed to be conducted and had identified documents that needed to be reviewed, including case files and supporting materials form the Marshals Service, the USAO, and the FBI.
Initially, the investigators used a research system consistent with a typical FBI investigation. However, they soon realized that a thorough review of the Weaver matter would benefit from the support of the FBI's Rapid Start team of the Information Resources Division of FBI Headquarters. Rapid Startis a mobile group of FBI employees who provide information management services to major cases. The Rapid Start team developed an automated case management system to assist the investigators in capturing, storing and retrieving information. The team also assisted the investigation in tracking leads and with document control.
As Phase I of the investigation entered its final stages,it became apparent that the volume of material to be reviewed and the broad scope of the inquiry would require more personnel and time than had originally been contemplated. A decision was  made to increase the size of the investigative team. Thus, when Phase II of the investigation began on September 21, 1993, the Ruby Ridge Inspection Team was doubled in size to include two full-time Inspectors, 26 Assistant Inspectors, and 10 support personnel.

Phase II was the investigative phase of the project. The inspectors were divided into the four teams. The first team was responsible for issues involving BATF and the Marshals Service. The second and third teams focused on the FBI role in the case including the FBI Laboratory, the FBI's handling of the crime scene, and the actions of the FBI HRT and its Rules of Engagement. The last team examined the actions of the USAO throughout its involvement in the Weaver matter. Each team was comprised of a DOJ Attorney, an inspection team leader, and five or six inspectors. The inspectors were encouraged to coordinate their inquiry with the DOJ attorney. Many interviews involved witnesses who had knowledge of issues being investigated by more than one team. In those instances, inspectors from the other teams either attended the interview, scheduled separate interviews, or submitted preliminary questions to determine whether an additional interview was necessary.

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

Before the interview process began, DOJ and FBI personnel developed a witness notification form describing the scope and purpose of the inquiry. Each witness executed this form before being interviewed. In addition, witnesses were asked to execute waiver forms before statements were taken. In some instances, interviewees were represented by counsel or declined to volunteer information, instead relying on earlier sworn testimony or statements.
On November 8, 1993, then Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann responded to renewed objections to the investigative role of the FBI in the inquiry. Heymann received the assurance of the attorneys in charge of the inquiry that they could accommodate interviewees who requested interviews outside the presence of the FBI. The attorneys assured these interviewees that the FBI was assisting them in gathering facts but that the final report and its conclusion and recommendations would originate from the DOJ attorneys. However, these interviewees were advised that a record of their interviews would be given tothe FBI to assist its inquiry. In addition, we cautioned all those interviewed that the Attorney General might release a version of our final report to the public and, therefore, we could not assure their confidentiality.

On January 19, 1994, the FBI investigators submitted their report of factual finding to the DOJ attorneys. Following the receipt of the FBI report, the DOJ attorneys completed their review of all pertinent materials and wrote a report analyzing the many allegations. The original team of lawyers was assisted by two attorneys from the Criminal Division who provided additional research and analysis. In addition, another OPR attorney 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 the Identification of Participants sections are intended to provide a general overview of significant events, which will assist the reader in understanding the detailed discussions that follow. Specific topics are generally arranged in chronological orderand contain detailed discussions of the relevant facts, the issues raised and the finding made. Finally, we conclude with a section which sets forth recommendations, most of which are designed to anticipate and avoid the kinds of problems subject to this inquiry. An Appendix accompanies this report, but because 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: 52 FBI HRT members, 60 Marshalls Service Special Operations Group personnel, 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 Ridge crisis, ten FBI Headquarters personnel, four FBI negotiators, 43 Idaho State Police members, 26 members of other agencies, 31 FBI field office personnel, 17 FBI Laboratory personnel, and 30 other persons involved with the prosecution, including personnel from the U.S. Probation Office and the U.S. Attorney's office.


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