FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 1997                            (202) 616-2777
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

         Disciplinary Penalties Being Weighed for Others

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After an exhaustive investigation
involving hundreds of interviews and the review of hundreds of
thousands of pages of documents, the Justice Department announced
today that the available evidence does not support further
criminal prosecutions of FBI officials arising from the August
1992 incidents, at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and their aftermath.

     In October 1996, E. Michael Kahoe, Chief of the FBI's
Violent Crimes and Major Offenders Section, was charged with, and
later pleaded guilty to, obstruction of justice charges relating
to his destruction of an FBI "After Action Critique" on the Ruby
Ridge matter.  He is scheduled for sentencing on September 11.

     The Department's Justice Management Division will propose
what, if any, disciplinary sanctions should be imposed on any
other individuals.  Their recommendation will follow a review by
the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility
(OPR), which has been furnished with the investigation's

     The criminal investigation examined events both during and
after the crisis to determine whether there was evidence
sufficient to support the criminal prosecution of any federal law
enforcement officers.

     A recommendation against criminal prosecution was made after
an investigation by the United States Attorney's Office for the
District of Columbia, led by Michael R. Stiles, the United States
Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  The
recommendation was approved by the Attorney General.

     While the prosecutors conducted a thorough, nationwide 
investigation, the evidence was insufficient to warrant a
criminal prosecution. 

Scope of the Criminal Investigation

     The investigative team used a variety of techniques to
collect all available evidence in this matter.  They gathered
large amounts of documentary material that had never come to
light during prior internal inquiries into the events at Ruby
Ridge.  FBI offices were searched, and more than half a million
pages of documents were obtained and analyzed.  Previously
unreviewed files containing the bulk of FBI Headquarters records
relating to the crisis, including files from the FBI's Strategic
Information and Operations Center (SIOC) and the Violent Crimes
and Major Offenders Section. 

     Investigators also conducted more than 600 interviews
involving 378 witnesses.  Many of the witnesses hold key
positions, particularly in FBI Headquarters and the SIOC, and had
never been questioned in any detail about the matter before. The
investigation was also conducted in connection with a federal
grand jury.

     In addition, toll records relating to 226,960 telephone
calls were examined, 143 exhibits were submitted to the FBI
Laboratory, and another 97 were sent to the Postal Inspection
Service Laboratory for examination.  Two hundred eighty-nine
computer hard drives and 351 disks from the FBI were also
examined for pertinent material.

     Investigators also thoroughly reviewed the investigative
work product and conclusions of the six prior investigations and
inquiries into the 1992 Ruby Ridge matter.  That record included
more than 500 witness interviews, sworn statements and
transcribed testimony.

     The Ruby Ridge criminal investigative team consisted of
experienced federal prosecutors from Philadelphia and Washington,
D.C.; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents, including
agents with experience in the FBI's Inspection Division,
Independent Counsel investigations and Office of Professional
Responsibility matters; and United States Postal Inspectors
versed in complex white collar cases.

The Incidents at Ruby Ridge

     On August 21, 1992, Deputy United States Marshal William
Degan and Samuel Weaver were killed at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, during
a confrontation between the Marshals Service and Randall Weaver,
Samuel Weaver, and Kevin Harris.  

     The following day, a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team,
Lon Horiuchi, fired two shots.  The first shot struck and wounded
Randall Weaver.  The second shot struck both Vicki Weaver and
Harris, killing Vicki Weaver instantly and wounding Harris.  A
stand-off between law enforcement and the occupants of the Weaver
family cabin ultimately resulted in the surrender of Randall
Weaver and Kevin Harris to the FBI.

Initial Inquiries and Discipline

     In July of 1993, a task force was formed by former Deputy
Attorney General Phillip Heymann to investigate allegations
concerning the conduct of federal law enforcement at Ruby Ridge. 
The investigation, supervised by Justice Department attorney
Barbara Berman and FBI Inspector Robert E. Walsh, was conducted
from July 1993 to June 10, 1994.  The FBI issued a report on
January 19, 1994, and the Justice Department attorneys issued
their report on June 10, 1994.

     On July 13, 1994, the former Deputy Attorney General
referred the Justice Department's report to the Justice
Department's Civil Rights Division for a determination of whether
a criminal civil rights prosecution was warranted.  After
reviewing the evidence gathered by the Task Force, the Civil
Rights Division declined prosecution, finding insufficient
evidence of a willful violation of the Weavers' or Kevin Harris'
civil rights.

     Following the conclusion of the Task Force investigation,
the FBI conducted an administrative review of the findings of the
Task Force.  The purpose of the review was to determine what
administrative action, if any, should be taken as a result of the
Task Force's findings.  The review, led by FBI Inspector Charles
Mathews, III, was conducted between October 1994 and January
1995.  A final administrative report was issued on January 27,

     As a result of the Mathews review, the FBI disciplined 12
employees on January 5, 1995.  This included letters of censure
for then-FBI Deputy Director Potts and Danny Coulson (former
Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI's Criminal Investigation
Division) and more severe discipline for others--including Eugene
Glenn, Special Agent-In-Charge, Salt Lake City, Utah, who was the
highest ranking FBI official at the scene.

     The Potts and Coulson letters of censure were based on
claimed failures in management, but also commented that:

     "neither Potts nor Coulson nor any other FBI
     Headquarters official approved or were aware of the
     improper ("can and should") Rules of Engagement."

     On the other hand, Glenn's letter of disciplinary action
stated that:

     "As on-scene commander you approved Rules of Engagement
     ... [that] could reasonably have been interpreted to
     direct law enforcement officers to act contrary to FBI
     policy and law." 

     Those rules of engagement, which were employed at Ruby
Ridge, provided that:

     a) if any adult male is observed with a weapon prior to the
     [surrender] announcement, deadly force can and should be
     employed, if the shot can be taken without endangering any

     b) If any adult in the compound is observed with a weapon
     after the surrender announcement is made, and is not
     attempting to surrender, deadly force can and should be
     employed to neutralize the individual.

     c) If compromised by any animal (dog), that animal should be

     d) Any subjects other than Randall Weaver, Vicky [sic]
     Weaver, Kevin Harris, presenting threats of death or
     grievous bodily harm, the FBI rules of deadly force are in
     effect.  Deadly force can be utilized to prevent the death
     or grievous bodily injury to one's self [sic] or that of

     Following the FBI disciplinary action, SAC Glenn wrote a
letter to OPR Counsel Michael Shaheen on May 3, 1995.  Glenn
alleged that the administrative review was designed to cover up
the responsibility of higher level FBI officials for the events
at Ruby Ridge.  Specifically, Glenn wrote that Potts told him
during the crisis that he had approved the Rules of Engagement,
and Coulson at one point reminded him to act in conformity with
the Rules of Engagement.  Glenn, therefore, claimed that FBI
Headquarters had approved the Rules of Engagement.  In May 1995,
the Justice Department's OPR began an investigation of Glenn's

     As a result of the Justice Department's OPR investigation,
on July 11, 1995, Kahoe was placed on administrative leave with
pay by the FBI.  On August 11, 1995, Potts, Coulson, Evans and
Anthony A. Betz, former FBI Domestic Terrorism Chief, were also
placed on administrative leave with pay. 

Mandate of the Criminal Investigation

     Based on information uncovered in the course of the OPR
investigation begun in April 1995, a criminal referral was made
to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia,
resulting in an investigation by a criminal investigative team
assembled just for this matter.  Eric Holder, then United States
Attorney for the District of Columbia, recused himself from this
matter.  The Attorney General appointed Michael R. Stiles, United
States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to
supervise the investigation.

     As noted previously, the Ruby Ridge criminal investigative
team was asked to examine events both during and after the crisis
to determine whether there was evidence to support the criminal
prosecution of any federal law enforcement officers.  This
included the issue posed by the referral from OPR, whether Potts
and Coulson had falsely denied knowledge or approval of the "can
and should" Rules of Engagement used at Ruby Ridge.  It also
included a determination of whether there was any evidence not
uncovered during the Task Force review that would change the
prior conclusion of the Justice Department's Civil Rights
Division declining a civil rights prosecution for the shootings
of Vicki and Randall Weaver and Kevin Harris on August 22, 1992. 

     Finally, the investigative team was asked to explore the
conduct of the Deputy United States Marshals in the firefight
that led to the deaths of Deputy Marshal William Degan and Samuel
Weaver on August 21, 1992.  In sum, the investigation was asked
to search for any and all evidence of possible criminality by
federal law enforcement, and to follow that evidence wherever it
might lead.

Conclusions -- Coverup Allegations

     As a result of the investigation, the investigative team
submitted detailed reports recommending against prosecution of
federal law enforcement personnel, other than E. Michael Kahoe.

     Concerning the agents placed on administrative leave with
pay prior to this investigation, it was determined that Anthony
Betz was not criminally implicated in this matter and thereafter
returned to work in June of 1996.  Michael Kahoe resigned in
December of 1996 following his guilty plea to obstruction of
justice and is awaiting sentencing. 

     The conclusions with respect to other agents on
administrative leave are as follows:

*    With regard to Larry Potts and Danny Coulson, it was
     determined that there was insufficient evidence against
     either to obtain or sustain a conviction on charges that
     they had falsely denied knowing of or approving the "can and
     should" rules of engagement, or had otherwise destroyed or
     falsely created records to cover up such culpability.  A
     successful prosecution of Potts or Coulson would have
     necessitated proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew
     of or approved the specific word "should" in the Rules of
     Engagement.  Despite intensive efforts, the investigation
     did not uncover that proof.  There was also insufficient
     evidence to prove other criminal violations by Potts or
     Coulson relating to either the shooting or its aftermath.  

*    With regard to FBI Special Agent Gale R. Evans, it was
     determined and also publicly acknowledged by his supervisor,
     E. Michael Kahoe, during Kahoe's guilty plea, that, at
     Kahoe's direction, Evans destroyed copies of the FBI Ruby
     Ridge After-Action Critique, as well as his computer disk
     containing the critique.  The Investigative Team recommended
     against prosecution on the basis of Evans' significant
     cooperation, without any promises, from the outset of this
     investigation; the nature of his subordinate role in the
     criminal conduct; and the availability of administrative

*    With regard to FBI Special Agent George Michael Baird, the
     investigative team determined that Agent Baird's actions did
     not amount to a criminal violation.

     The cover-up phase of the investigation also explored the
conduct of FBI Headquarters officials generally as they responded
to the various inquiries and litigation that followed the Ruby
Ridge crisis.  This included the examination of whether any other
FBI Headquarters officials lied in their denials of knowing about
or approving the Rules of Engagement issued at Ruby Ridge. No
evidence was uncovered which would warrant criminal prosecution
of other FBI Headquarters officials.

     Although the investigation concluded no further criminal
prosecution was warranted, OPR is reviewing what, if any,
misconduct occurred that might warrant administrative sanctions,
up to and including termination of employment.

Conclusions -- Civil Rights Allegations

     As noted above, the investigative team was also instructed
to review the question of whether there was sufficient evidence
to prosecute any federal law enforcement officer for civil rights
offenses occurring at Ruby Ridge. In October of 1994, after a
review of the earlier Justice Department's Ruby Ridge Task Force
Report, the criminal section of the Civil Rights Division
concluded that there was not.

     After substantial further investigation, the Ruby Ridge
criminal investigative team reached the same conclusion: there is
not sufficient evidence to obtain or sustain a conviction for
violation of the federal civil rights statutes for the shooting
of Vicki Weaver, Randall Weaver, or Kevin Harris on August 22,
1992.  In essence, the critical element of willfulness necessary
for a civil rights violation cannot be established beyond a
reasonable doubt.  Such willfulness, or knowing, intentional use
of unreasonable force cannot be made out against FBI Agent Lon
Horiuchi, who fired the shots which struck Randall Weaver, Vicki
Weaver, and Kevin Harris, since those shots were within the
guidelines set forth by his superiors in the controversial rules
of engagement.  There was also no evidence from which it could be
concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Horiuchi actually saw
Vicki Weaver at the time he fired the shot that killed her.

     Moreover, it was concluded that such willfulness could not
be established against the on-site supervisors responsible for
drafting and implementing the rules of engagement and other
tactics at Ruby Ridge.  In summary, the little circumstantial
evidence from which it could be argued that there may have been
an intent to use more force than was necessary was far outweighed
by a significant amount of evidence that law enforcement had no
such intention here.  Instead, there was substantial evidence
that FBI law enforcement efforts were undertaken by on-site
supervisors with the actual, although not completely accurate,
belief that Randall Weaver and Kevin Harris posed a severe threat
to law enforcement officers requiring the use of deadly force.

     Such a conclusion does not amount to a finding that the
rules of engagement or other tactics employed at Ruby Ridge were
appropriate or even constitutional.  Instead it is based on the
determination that there is insufficient evidence to prove that
excessive, unlawful force was knowingly and intentionally
employed by FBI personnel in their response to the situation they
confronted at Ruby Ridge.  Thus it mandates against a federal
criminal prosecution for civil rights violations by law
enforcement personnel at Ruby Ridge.

     Finally, it was also determined that there was no basis to
support a federal civil rights prosecution or other prosecution
of United States Marshals Service personnel for the initial
August 21, 1992, confrontation which resulted in the deaths of
Samuel Weaver and United States Deputy Marshal William F. Degan.
Although it could not be conclusively determined whether the
first shot in this confrontation was fired by U.S. Marshals
Service personnel at the Weavers' dog or by Kevin Harris at the
Marshals, under either scenario there is no basis for a
prosecution of United States Marshals for their conduct relating
to Ruby Ridge.

Administrative Sanctions

     This decision means that FBI personnel, including Larry
Potts, former Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigation
Division and Deputy Director of the FBI; Danny Coulson, former
Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI's Criminal Investigation
Division; Michael Baird, Supervisory Special Agent; and Gale
Evans, former Unit Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit of the
Criminal Investigation Division, will not face federal criminal
prosecution for any matters arising out of the Ruby Ridge

     This decision does not preclude the imposition of
disciplinary sanctions against these individuals or other FBI
officials.  Accordingly, the investigation's findings have been
furnished to OPR for its review and additional investigation, if
necessary.  If appropriate, OPR will recommend to the Justice
Department any disciplinary sanctions, up to and including
termination of employment.  The FBI will not be the decision-
maker regarding any disciplinary sanctions.
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