Sen. Lindsey Graham at Center of Evidence Tampering Case?
• FBI allegedly cited bogus experts; used senator’s office to falsify reports
By Pat Shannan
A civil case that is being waged in a South Carolina federal district court may expose decades-long Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) evidence tampering and perjury in numerous criminal cases. It could also affect the political career of South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey O. Graham.
Subpoenas filed in federal court in late February allege that two supposed video and audio experts for the FBI, Noel Herold and Bruce Koenig, not only lack the qualifications the FBI claims, but may have been used after their 1996 retirements to falsify evidence, which had been used to convict innocent people and to exonerate the FBI of criminal activity.
The cases where tampered evidence was allegedly entered into court include the 1993 attack on the Branch Davidian Church outside of Waco, Texas, the Oklahoma City bombing, the August 21, 1995 jailhouse murder of Kenny Trentadue and a New York mobster charged and convicted with John Gotti based on audio recordings that were never allowed to be examined by defense experts.
The FBI claims that Trentadue committed suicide after his arrest on suspicion of being “John Doe 2” in the OKC bombing in 1995. The facts, however, indicate he was murdered in prison and was in no way connected to the terrorist attack. It is believed that Koenig and Herold have been involved in these high-profile cases, which spanned decades. Their work was used by the Justice Department and the FBI to obtain convictions regardless of what the true evidence revealed.
Researchers who have looked at the two so-called experts have been unable to find any proof that the two actually participated in many of the cases that have been attributed to them. Other cases for which they claim credit seem to suggest various levels of falsification of evidence and even outright perjury.
As for the mob conviction, the government forensic team that worked on the tapes is known to have included Koenig, but no FBI agent who directly worked on the audiotapes was ever called as a witness in order to be cross-examined.
Plaintiffs in the civil case also argue that evidence proves the FBI used Graham’s office, while he served as chairman of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, to illegally edit and certify FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC) summary reports. These were then used to undermine a paralyzed man’s civil rights lawsuit in federal court. These reports, if not tampered with by the FBI, would have showed how a bribed county sheriff’s deputy had illegally gained access to the NCIC system and inserted the law-abiding plaintiff’s name as being “armed and extremely dangerous,” thereby making him a target for all law enforcement.
Pat Shannan is an AFP contributing editor and the author of several best-selling videos and books.