Skip to main content /LAW /LAW


Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:

CNN Mobile

CNN Websites



CNN International



find law dictionary

Attorneys say McVeigh is considering all options

Nathan Chambers, Robert Nigh
McVeigh attorneys, Nathan Chambers left and Robert Nigh speak with the media after meeting with Timothy McVeigh.  

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (CNN) -- Attorneys for Timothy McVeigh said the convicted Oklahoma City bomber is considering all of his options following the release of thousands of pages of previously undisclosed documents from the FBI investigation.

Defense attorneys Nathan Chambers and Robert Nigh met with McVeigh Wednesday at the Federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

They said McVeigh was in good spirits in the meeting, but they were tight-lipped about their plans.

"It's time to work, not talk," Chambers said.

graphic VIDEO
CNN's Kelli Arena reports on an outdated computer system that the FBI blames for the missing McVeigh evidence (May 12)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

CNN's Wolf Blitzer reports on what the McVeigh execution delay may mean for McVeigh and Nichols (May 11)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)

McVeigh lawyer Robert Nigh says his client will evaluate new information to decide whether he now wants fo fight execuition

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
FBI documents from special agent in charge (FindLaw) (PDF format)
Documents in PDF format require Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™ for viewing.
graphic ALSO
Timeline: The FBI under Freeh
Ashcroft: No more delays for McVeigh
Keating: 'How can there be anything wrong?'
Previous FBI controversies
Newly revealed FBI documents prompt Nichols' appeal
More on the McVeigh execution

McVeigh was scheduled to die by lethal injunction Wednesday for the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995. The bombing killed 168 people and wounded more than 500 others, making it the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft last week postponed McVeigh's scheduled Wednesday execution until June 11 to give McVeigh's team time to review the material.

Nigh and McVeigh's other attorney, Nathan Chambers, spent Tuesday in Nigh's office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before departing for the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where McVeigh awaits his fate.

Citing the new material, co-conspirator Terry Nichols last week filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking a new trial. Already serving a life sentence for his role in the bombing, Nichols sits in an Oklahoma City jail, awaiting trial on state charges.

McVeigh letter dismisses John Doe. No. 2

Seven additional files showed up in a Baltimore field office after last week's discovery of 700 documents totaling more than 3,000 pages. Most of the documents deal with tips, leads and notes about a purported accomplice to McVeigh.

FBI field offices intensified efforts to find any documents that still may not have been turned over to McVeigh's attorneys.

As they have maintained with the earlier disclosure, FBI officials contend the seven additional files do not in any way contradict McVeigh's guilt.

For his part, McVeigh said there is no additional suspect. In a letter to the Houston Chronicle, McVeigh dismissed the speculation about a so-called John Doe No. 2.

The Chronicle reported that the letter was dated May 2, a week before the FBI disclosed it had not turned over all documents to McVeigh's defense team.

McVeigh's letter was written in response to a reporter's question about remarks from McVeigh's former attorney, Stephen Jones, that McVeigh had always inflated his role in the bombing.

McVeigh rejected Jones' assertions in the letter, writing, "And last, does anyone honestly believe that if there was a John Doe No. 2 (there is not), that Stephen Jones would still be alive? ... Think about it."


• About 3,100 pages of documents and pieces of evidence including "Form 302" documents that give the essence of interviews that FBI agents conducted following the Oklahoma City bombing. Many of the documents deal with the search for "John Doe No. 2."


• The Justice Department says it does not believe the documents have "material bearing" on the case, but McVeigh attorney Nathan Chambers called the discovery "a cause for great concern."


• The evidence could be grounds for an appeal, but McVeigh's attorneys cannot file one without his consent because he has not been proven to be mentally incompetent.


Senator critical of FBI

Following a closed-door meeting with FBI Director Louis Freeh on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, lamented what he described as "too many failures, too many blunders" by the agency. Shelby is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Some of us made some observations about the FBI, some of its recent problems ... A lot of successes with the bureau, but a lot of failures," Shelby said.

Some FBI officials said they feared workers at the agency would be made scapegoats over the recently discovered documents because lawmakers might want to spare Freeh further embarrassment in his final days as director. Freeh recently announced he would be stepping down.

The man who led the FBI task force investigation of the bombing, Danny Defenbaugh, now the special agent in charge of the FBI's Dallas office, is in Washington this week to explain why he took so long to notify his superiors of the newly disclosed documents.

FBI officials blamed the failure to initially turn over the documents on an outdated computer system. Sen. Jeff Sessions R-Alabama, said that even if that is true the FBI still erred in this instance.

"The FBI and the agencies rely on these computer systems, but it is their responsibility to have one that works," he said. "You simply can't allow documents of a significant number not to be produced in a case."

CNN Correspondents Kelli Arena in Washington and Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.


See related sites about Law
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


Back to the top