proceeded forward

Ronald Powell

Ronald Powell is a United States special agent for the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General. One notable concern of his was the investigation of former U.S. Department of Justice ethics advisor Jesselyn Radack, an attorney with the Department's Professional Responsibility Advisory Office.

On December 7, 2001, John De Pue, a counter-terrorism prosecutor, contacted Radack's office for advice as to whether the FBI could interrogate the recently detained "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh even though his father had retained an attorney for him. Radack advised him that the proposed interrogation would not be authorized by law, in that the applicable guidelines required Lindh's attorney's consent. On December 9, 2001, FBI agent Christopher Reimann proceeded forward with the interrogation of Lindh at Camp Rhino. The next day, De Pue contacted Radack's office to inform her that the interrogation went forward and sought further advice. Radack documented her advice in a series of e-mails.

On February 15, 2002, Federal District Judge T.S. Ellis, III, issued a discovery order in the Lindh case, requiring that the Justice Department's internal communications be turned over to him for determination as to which documents should be provided to the defense team. On March 7, 2002, Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows, the lead prosecutor in the Lindh case, contacted Radack to confirm that he was possession of everything she had written on the Lindh matter. When Radack reviewed the Lindh file, it was determined that her prior communications with De Pue were missing from the file and were not made available to Randy Bellows or Judge Ellis. Once Radack brought this to her supervisor's attention, she was strongly encouraged to leave the department and find another job.

Two months later her e-mails showed up in a story by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff. Powell contacted the new law firm Radack was working for as part of the investigation. Phone and fax records traced from the firm to Newsweek, several days before the article was published, were confirmed. The firm then put her on leave due to the allegations. Radack later acknowledged sending the e-mails to Newsweek under the pretense of being a "whistleblower."

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