Committee "Not Inclined" to Believe FBI Started Waco Fire

July 7, 2008 - 8:24 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Sources close to the House Government Reform and Oversight committee's investigation of the 1993 raid at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, told CNSNews.com the committee is "not inclined" to believe that FBI agents or other military units started the fire that killed more than 80 people.

However, a spokesperson for the committee told CNSNews.com that Thursday's admission by Attorney General Janet Reno that "pyrotechnic devices may have been used" during the raid "raises a lot of troubling issues."

"They sat on information for six years and outright denied" that pyrotechnic devices were used, said Mark Corallo of the Government Reform and Oversight committee, chaired by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN). "What else have they lied about under oath?"

Corallo told CNSNews.com that Burton has "no confidence in the Attorney General's ability to conduct an investigation into her own department," and characterized the committee's contacts with the Department of Justice as "not very substantive."

"The FBI has been much more helpful," Corallo said.

Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), in a release, raised the possibility that charges might be filed in the investigation, saying that "this new evidence casts doubt on statements of administration officials, and could lead to charges of perjury."

In a White House briefing, administration spokesperson Joe Lockhart told reporters that President Clinton "stands with the attorney general in her determination to get all the facts in this case and to make them available to Congress and the public as soon as possible."

A spokesperson with the FBI told CNSNews.com that the agency had no comment on the committee's investigation, or on the Attorney General's comments yesterday, including her assertion that she was "very, very troubled," by the FBI's belated admission that pyrotechnic devices were used.

In a release on Thursday, Burton said that the new facts necessitated "a thorough investigation of whether the Justice Department has misled the American people, and the Congress, about what happened at Waco," and added that his committee intended "to get to the bottom of this matter."