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Branch Davidians attorney critical of Reno's deposition
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The lead attorney representing the Branch Davidians in a wrongful death lawsuit against the government said he believes Attorney General Janet Reno was "less than candid" in a portion of her two-hour deposition Tuesday.
The lawsuit stems from the deadly 1993 Waco, Texas, siege, and attorney Michael Caddell told reporters he questioned Reno's testimony on whether the government had intended to demolish the Branch Davidians' compound at the facility they called Mount Carmel.
"The only issue where we really felt she was less than candid was on the demolition issue," Caddell said. "And, I think the problem she's got is she testified to Congress in 1995 that the damage done to the building was the result of tear gas insertion, and I think it's very difficult for her to back off of that testimony," he said.
Caddell claims the testimony is at odds with what he calls "video of a tank going in and in and in and in".
David Koresh and some 80 followers died on April 19, 1993, after a 51-day standoff; some from the fire, others from gunshot wounds. The government has long insisted the Davidians died by their own hand.
U.S. Attorney rejects allegation
U.S. Attorney Michael Bradford, who is defending the government in the case, rejected Caddell's assertion.
"We would strongly disagree with his characterization. The attorney general was forthright and candid and answered all the questions fully," said Bradford, who also attended the deposition.
Caddell told reporters he does not believe Reno was negligent in the Waco siege, but said he believes Reno's testimony helps confirm his argument that FBI tactical field commanders exceeded their authority in the case.
Bradford declined to comment on specifics of the deposition, citing a court order which he believes prohibits such discussion.
The deposition is expected to be used in the civil trial, which is scheduled to begin in mid-May in Waco.
CNN's Terry Frieden contributed to this report.
Opposing views of new test videotape in Waco debate
Federal Bureau of Investigation
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