Danforth Hires Aide for Waco Probe

The Associated Press, September 29, 1999
By Michelle Mittelstadt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The special counsel investigating whether the government covered up aspects of the 1993 Waco siege appointed a deputy on Wednesday to head the inquiry's dealings in Washington.

John Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri who is setting up investigative offices in St. Louis and Washington, named Stuart Levey as associate special counsel.

Levey, 36, a partner in the Washington law firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, "brings perspective and experience that will be important to our effort to conduct a first-rate investigation," Danforth said in a statement.

The Levey hiring is among several Danforth has made in recent weeks as he assembles his investigative team.

Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Danforth earlier this month to head a new inquiry into the siege after the Justice Department and FBI were forced to recant six years of denials that potentially incendiary tear-gas projectiles were fired in the hours before the siege's fiery end.

A Senate task force and the House Government Reform Committee have launched their own inquiries.

Danforth has pledged to answer the "dark questions" of whether the government killed Branch Davidians during the standoff and then engaged in a cover-up. Davidian leader David Koresh and some 80 followers died during the fiery climax to the 51-day siege, some from the fire, others from gunshot wounds.

The FBI has denied that any shots were fired during the standoff. Reno and FBI officials insist the fire was started by Davidians inside the compound, not federal agents.

Danforth, who is using St. Louis as his base of operations, told The Washington Post this week that he has recruited a chief of staff, a team of 12 to 15 lawyers, and postal inspectors. Former U.S. Attorney Edward Dowd Jr. is Danforth's deputy in St. Louis.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.