January 19, 2007

Seeking the Truth About Ramos & Compean
Dear Texas Delegation Colleague: I write this letter to urge you to join my efforts in uncovering the facts surrounding the conviction and sentencing of United States Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean for the pursuit and shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila. During the last five months, due to my deep concern over the fate of these Agents, I have relentlessly requested information detailing the facts surrounding this case from both the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice. To date, both Agencies have defied the will of Congress and refused to cooperate meaningfully with my efforts to uncover the truth. Beginning in early September 2005, at my direction, Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee staff contacted the Inspector General’s office at the Department of Homeland Security seeking information directly relating the investigation of Agents Ramos and Compean. The IG initially responded there would be no comment regarding the investigation. In subsequent communication from the IG congressional liaison, the IG’s office initially attempted to refer all inquiries to the Public Affairs Office, USAO for the Western District of Texas. The Subcommittee then contacted the district court requesting the trial transcript, but was informed no transcript was available. During the week of September 18, 2006, again at my direction, Investigations Subcommittee staff formally requested the DHS IG to brief, in person, me and Reps. Poe, Culberson and Marchant on all relevant information regarding the Ramos and Compean investigation. On September 26, 2006, the Deputy IG and Assistant IG for Investigations briefed me and Reps. Poe, Culberson and Marchant. The briefing focused on the IG’s Report of Investigation (ROI), case background and alleged actions of Agents Ramos and Compean on February 17, 2005 in Fabens, Texas. During the briefing to these Members, DHS IG’s office asserted the following: 1. Ramos & Compean confessed to knowingly shooting at an unarmed suspect. Again they claim the two agents KNEW he was unarmed when they fired their weapons. 2. Ramos & Compean stated during interrogation that they did NOT believe the suspect was a threat to them at the time of the shooting. 3. Ramos & Compean stated that day they “wanted to shoot a Mexican”. 4. Ramos & Compean were belligerent to investigators. 5. Ramos & Compean destroyed evidence and lied to investigators.

The DHS IG stated the Report of Investigation (ROI) would substantiate the statements made at the September 26, 2006 meeting; and it would be released the first day postsentencing of the Agents, October 23, 2006. The DHS IG said these statements were made to IG investigators during their investigation and they possessed substantiating documentation. To date, DHS IG has provided no material substantiating these claims. Subsequent to the DHS IG briefing on September 26, 2006, the following actions were taken by my personal office and Investigations Subcommittee staff: The week of October 6, 2007, at my direction, Investigations Subcommittee staff and my Chief of Staff began discussions with the Judiciary Committee Immigration Subcommittee regarding the status of the Judiciary Committee’s investigation and urged the Committee to exercise their oversight and officially request the trial transcript from DoJ. October 17, 2006, Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner formally requested the trial transcript from DoJ. To date, the Committee has not received the transcript. October 17, 2006, my office requested Nancy Scott-Finan and/or Rebecca Seidel (Deputy Assistant AG’s at DOJ) to provide any information available post sentencing, specifically trial transcripts and sworn statements by the Agents. DoJ responded they can provide some testimony, but not that of Ramos or Compean or their sworn statements. Friday, October 20, 2006, Agents Ramos and Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12 years, respectively, at a federal penitentiary. Monday, October 23, 2006, the first day post sentencing, at my direction, the Investigations Subcommittee requested the IG Report of Investigation (ROI) and substantiating documentation to their claims made September 26. DHS IG declined to release the ROI due to an expected appeals filing, despite earlier promises to release the report at this time. The same day, a letter from the Investigations Subcommittee was sent to DHS IG formally demanding the IG substantiate to the Committee their assertions made on September 26 to Reps. McCaul, Poe, Culberson and Marchant and citing their refusal to do as unacceptable. (letter attached) October 27, 2006, DHS IG Skinner sent an official DHS response to the subcommittee’s formal demand. The Letter states the ROI is still being finalized, and the ROI also deals with potential disciplinary action against 9 other border agents and cannot be released until the CBP concludes its investigation. (letter attached) November 1, 2006, Investigations Subcommittee staff contacted Judiciary Committee staff to discuss status of investigation. Judiciary Committee staff sent an email request to DoJ for an expedited trial transcript. They were told they would receive it in two weeks. The week of November 3, 2006, my office again requested DHS IG provide substantiating information to the meeting held September 26, 2006. DHS IG said it made a mistake in telling the Members they would get the information immediately post sentencing and due to the potential appeals and disciplinary action against other CBP agents DoJ will need to review the ROI and it would be at least 3 more weeks before any information can be provided. November, 27 2006, at my direction Investigations Subcommittee staff again contacted DHS IG to demand production and release of the ROI. The IG stated that the ROI was under review by

CBP and DOJ declined their opportunity to review the ROI. The Subcommittee staff was told that the CBP was reviewing the ROI to determine whether to take disciplinary action against other agents at the scene on February 17, 2005 for failure to report the facts accurately. The Deputy IG anticipated their review would be completed by Dec 18, but he said that date could slip, again. He said he would keep the Subcommittee apprised of any new developments. December 18, 2006, Investigations Subcommittee staff again contacted the Deputy IG regarding release of the ROI. The Deputy IG stated the ROI was still under CBP review, but would notify the Subcommittee as to status of its release the following week. The week of December 22, 2006, no status report was received by Subcommittee staff regarding the ROI. January 12, 2007, I spoke personally to DHS IG Skinner, and again, demanded the ROI and information substantiating their claims made in September to Members of Congress. The DHS IG’s response was the ROI would not be produced due to the ongoing investigation and pending disciplinary action against other CBP agents involved in the incident. DHS IG informed me I would now need to file a FOIA request and obtain a waiver from both Ramos and Compean to get the ROI and information substantiating their claims made in September. DHS IG further explained to me that, since my Chairmanship expired due to the change in the majority and the 110th Congress beginning, my previous request is no longer being considered. January 16, 2007, Ramos and Compean were denied requests for bond during appeals process. January 17, 2007, my office made repeated request for trial documents from US District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso. January 17, 2007, my office sent a FOIA request to DHS IG’s office for the ROI and substantiating information to their claims made September 26, 2006. January 17, 2007, my office requested, again, in writing, that DHS IG meet with Members of Congress to provide the ROI and substantiating information to their claims made September 26, 2006. January 18, 2007, I spoke personally to DHS Secretary Chertoff to express my disbelief and anger that DHS IG has made potentially misleading claims to Members of Congress and not provided substantiating documentation as promised. Secretary Chertoff agreed to personally speak to IG Skinner. It is patently clear to me, after five months of delay by the Department of Homeland Security, that they have no intention of providing the information I requested to get to the facts surrounding the case. This is a matter of our Constitutional responsibility to provide oversight of the DHS and its need to cooperate in that effort. During the 109th Congress, I had hoped to receive the information from the DHS in efforts to decide if a Congressional hearing needed to occur to investigate the incident. As stated above, no information was ever received, despite exhaustive efforts to obtain it. I am hopeful that, within the next few weeks, we will receive the requested information and, in a bi-partisan manner, decide if there is a need for a formal oversight hearing into this incident.

We should all work together to make sure that the investigations into this incident are brought to light. Please join me in sending this letter from the Texas Delegation to Secretary Chertoff asking him to direct DHS to produce the ROI and all other evidence relevant to the investigation of Agents Ramos and Compean.

Sincerely, /s Michael T. McCaul