FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAG
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1999(202) 616-2777
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO SELECTS FORMER SENATOR
JOHN DANFORTH AS SPECIAL COUNSEL TO HEAD WACO REVIEW
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General Janet Reno today named former United States Senator John C. (Jack) Danforth as Special Counsel to head a review into events surrounding the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas on April 19, 1993.
Reno announced her intention to conduct the investigation on August 25 after the FBI came across information suggesting that incendiary or pyrotechnic devices may have been used at the Branch Davidian compound on April 19, 1993. Last week, the FBI released videotape taken by an FBI surveillance aircraft that had captured the incident through the use of Forward Looking Infrared Radar.
"Jack Danforth is a man of impeccable credentials, a record of integrity, and a determination to get to the truth," said Reno. "Questions have been raised, and he is the perfect person to find the answers."
Danforth, who now practices law at Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis, Missouri, retired from the U.S. Senate in 1994 after representing the State of Missouri for 18 years. Prior to serving in the Senate, Danforth served as Attorney General for Missouri for eight years. He is ordained to the clergy of the Episcopal Church and is associate priest at the Church of the Holy Communion in University City.
"I welcome the Attorney General's selection of Senator Danforth," said Director Freeh.
Under an order signed today by the Attorney General, the Senator will have the authority to investigate whether any government employee or agent: directly caused the loss of life at the Mt. Carmel compound, at Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993, or withheld or suppressed evidence or information or made fraudulent statements regarding the events at the Mt. Carmel compound, at Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. He is also authorized to examine whether there was an illegal use of the armed forces in the events leading up to the loss of life on April 19, 1993.
Under the order, Danforth has been given the same authority as that which any Special Counsel would have under existing Special Counsel regulations.
For his Deputy Special Counsel, Danforth has chosen Edward Dowd, currently the United States Attorney in St. Louis. Dowd will be resigning from his current position to join Bryan Cave LLP, where Danforth now practices law.