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Posted: 9/3/2015 9:33:54 AM EST
Long back-story short:

ATF Agent Jay Dobyns (Former UofA football player, Go Wildcats!!!) went undercover and infiltrated the Hell's Angels in Arizona. ATF and the DOJ screwed up the investigation and then later seemed to look the other way after Dobyns' house was set on fire. Dobyns has sued ATF for failing to protect him, etc.



Top U.S. Department of Justice officials withheld information from a federal judge about judicial irregularities in a high-profile lawsuit against the ATF, according to recently unsealed court documents.

The disclosures are contained in thousands of pages of court records unsealed Aug. 12 in the case of retired undercover agent Jay Dobyns, who infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

Dobyns sued the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for failing to properly investigate an arson at his Tucson home on Aug. 10, 2008, and for neglecting to protect him and his family against death threats.

The Justice Department oversees ATF and other federal law-enforcement agencies.

Unsealed records show Stuart Delery, now the No. 3 person at the DOJ, and Jeanne Davidson, who has been nominated for a federal judgeship, did not notify the judge in response to e-mails telling them a DOJ attorney tried to scuttle plans to reopen the botched arson investigation.

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Unsealed records show Stuart Delery, now the No. 3 person at the DOJ, and Jeanne Davidson, who has been nominated for a federal judgeship, did not notify the judge in response to e-mails telling them a DOJ attorney tried to scuttle plans to reopen the botched arson investigation.

Electronic e-mail receipts from their accounts were sent, indicating someone saw the e-mails.

E-mails also show Davidson participated in discussions with subordinates about whether to tell the trial judge that an ATF supervisor possibly threatened an ATF internal-affairs agent whose testimony helped Dobyns.

James Reed, Dobyns’ attorney, said Delery and Davidson were ethically and legally obligated to report the possible witness and evidence tampering.

Delery and Davidson declined comment because the matter still is in litigation, said DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush.


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DOJ and ATF executives wanted to make an example of Dobyns, because he was one of a select few agents to publicly challenge ATF decision makers about unethical and improper actions, said retired ATF Agent Vince Cefalu of Lake Tahoe, Calif.

The years-long legal fight was the result, Cefalu said.

"What they do is they grind down until you can’t take it no more and you say, ‘Alright, I’ll stop. I’ll drop it. I’ll stop being a fool. I won’t talk anymore to the public or to the media or to the Congress or to anybody,’ ” Cefalu said.

Testimony during the Dobyns trial last summer showed ATF attorney Valerie Bacon attempted to influence ATF Special Agent in Charge Thomas Atteberry about plans to reopen the investigation of the arson at Dobyns’ home, because it could damage the ATF’s defense in the case.




The special master’s investigation also showed that several layers of DOJ attorneys, including Davidson, were aware of reported threats against ATF Internal Affairs Agent Christopher Trainor.

Trainor investigated Dobyns’ complaints that ATF supervisors improperly stripped him of his covert identification and purposely mismanaged the investigation of an arson at his home.

Trainor’s finding cast a trio of ATF supervisors, including Tucson chief Charles Higman, in a poor light.

Midway through the three-week trial, Higman left Trainor a voice mail in a "confrontational and antagonistic” tone that Trainor considered a threat. The same day, someone stuffed a construction cone into the tailpipe of Trainor’s vehicle.

Later, Trainor called Higman about the voice mail. Higman said no threat was intended. "That’s ridiculous. Why would I do that? I don’t even know you,” Higman replied, according to a transcript of the call.

Trainor reported the contact to an ATF attorney and DOJ lead trial attorney David Harrington. Harrington told him that the calls were not relevant to the case, according to court records.

Trainor disagreed and told Harrington that he planned to report the threat directly to the trial judge. Harrington twice told Trainor he should think long and hard about what that would mean for his career, according to court records.

DOJ attorneys exchanged more than two dozen e-mails discussing whether to disclose the matter to the trial judge.

Eventually, they decided to withhold the information, swayed in part by Harrington’s views that testimony about the arson was complete, Higman said his message was not a threat, and Trainor had withdrawn his demand to tell the judge.


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