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FBI official charged with obstruction of justice in Ruby Ridge siege

Ruby Ridge

October 22, 1996
Web posted at: 4:25 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- A high-ranking FBI official was charged Tuesday with obstruction of justice in connection with the Ruby Ridge standoff in 1992.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Washington says E. Michael Kahoe, the former chief of the Violent Crimes and Major Offenders Section at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., destroyed a critique on the FBI action at Ruby Ridge and then attempted to make it appear as if the report never existed.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

house at Ruby Ridge

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, Kahoe was ordered to prepare an "after action critique" of the FBI's conduct at Ruby Ridge. During the 1992 standoff, a deputy U.S. marshal was killed, along with the wife and son of property owner Randy Weaver.

Kahoe organized and moderated a conference on the Ruby Ridge matter at FBI headquarters in November 1992, and ordered that a report be prepared. But when federal prosecutors in Idaho asked the FBI for materials pertaining to the incident, Kahoe and certain unnamed superiors at FBI headquarters resisted the request, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

1992 standoff

In order to ensure that the critique would not be made available, Kahoe "withheld the critique from the documents to be delivered" to prosecutors, the U.S. Attorney's office alleged. Kahoe "ordered a subordinate FBI headquarters official to destroy all copies of the critique and to make it appear as if the critique never existed," the prosecutor's office said.

Four other top FBI officials, including former Deputy FBI Director Larry Potts, remain under investigation in the cover-up probe by U.S. Attorney Michael Stiles.

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