Richard Roberts was the former Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  On March 16, 2016 he retired abruptly from the bench citing chronic health problems when that same day a Utah woman filed a $25 million civil rights lawsuit against him. The lawsuit alleges that 30 years ago Roberts used his position of authority as a federal prosecutor to coerce her into sexual encounters when she was a traumatized 16-year-old witness in a murder case.


Prior to filing the lawsuit Utah State officials took the woman’s allegations to Paul Cassell, a law professor and former federal judge, for formal review. Cassell declared that there was “significant evidence” that Roberts engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor. At the time Roberts was a federal prosecutor. He orchestrated assignations with the then-16-year-old minor under the guise of “witness preparation.”



Roberts admitted to the sexual relationship during a telephone conversation.



The victim says Roberts threatened that if she spoke out that the ongoing murder case would end in a mistrial.  According to Spencer Austin, criminal division chief for the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Roberts also told the vulnerable 16-year-old that the murderer would kill her and her family if he was allowed to go free.


The victim’s lawyer, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, intoned that it was “utterly disgusting and disgraceful” for Roberts’ lawyers to characterize his action as a mere lapse in judgment:


Roberts followed the child molester’s playbook and calculatedly chose a particularly vulnerable victim, gained her trust, kept her isolated, created secrecy around their relationship, and controlled every aspect of their interactions.




On March 16, the day the lawsuit was filed, Roberts decided he was too sick to continue with his career. Judge Karen Henderson from the U.S. Court of Appeals subsequently signed a letter acknowledging that Roberts was “permanently disabled from performing his duties as a United States District Judge in regular active service.”


In a letter written to the White House Judge Henderson declared, “I have  satisfied myself from the medical report provided to me by Chief Judge Roberts that he suffers from a very serious health condition rendering him unable to perform his duties as a United States District Judge.”


Henderson signed off as “acting chief judge” of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit because the chief, Merrick Garland, a long time associate of Roberts, recused himself from any involvement with the Richards’ case.


On the day that Roberts announced his retirement Merrick Garland was nominated by President Obama to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court that resulted from Scalia’s sudden death.




The disability allows Roberts to receive full salary for the rest of his life.

On March 18, 2016, just 48 hours after Roberts abruptly announced his retirement, the misconduct complaint against him was formally dismissed.

The dismissal order cited the judge’s retirement in closing the misconduct case. The order was signed by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit as “acting chief judge.” D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated last week to the U.S. Supreme Court, recused from the Roberts misconduct complaint because of his “longstanding professional relationship” with the judge.



According to the National Law Journal Henderson dismissed the misconduct case as “no longer necessary because of intervening events” – referring to Roberts’ retirement.



According to National Public Radio (NPR):


In several past cases, retirement by a judge also put a halt to possible misconduct probes the judiciary launches of its own members.


The NPR did not mention specific cases.





Richard Roberts was nominated to the federal court by Bill Clinton in 1998. Shortly after Obama was elected, Roberts proved himself to be a reliable henchman for the judiciary.


The Office of Inspector General was established by Congress in 1978 in order to expose and eliminate corruption, waste, fraud and abuse in federal government agencies. In order to protect Inspector Generals from political retaliation Congress passed the Inspector Generals Reform Act in 2008. Then-Senator Obama was a co-sponsor to the bill.


One of the provisions of the Reform Act prohibits the president from arbitrarily firing an inspector general. In fact the Act specified that the president had to provide Congress a written statement specifying why the particular inspector general deserved to be fired. The written notice was to be provided 30 days prior to any attempt to remove an inspector general.


In clear defiance of the Reform Act that he co-sponsored as a senator, President Obama summarily fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin.  Here is how the Washington Times described the debacle:


Not long after settling into the White House, President Obama fired Gerald Walpin, the inspector general for AmeriCorps, because he had exposed a scam involving a close presidential friend. Mr. Walpin filed a report about the misuse of $847,000 in grant money by Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, Calif. Mr. Johnson, a former NBA star, was accused of using government cash to pay “volunteers” to keep his car sparkling clean and to run personal errands. The firing of Mr. Walpin sent a clear signal to his colleagues: Investigate a friend of the president, and you’ll be looking for a new job. Many got the message.



World Net Daily provided more insight:


Walpin received a phone call from the White House telling him to resign or be fired. Walpin refused the phone ultimatum and was fired 45 minutes later, despite a law requiring the president to give 30 days’ notice to Congress before removing an inspector general and to explain the reasons for doing so. …


The lawsuit brought by former Inspector General Gerald Walpin, whose dismissal by President Obama last year has been challenged by congressmen as potentially illegal political retaliation, has been dismissed in federal court.

After stalling the case for almost a year, U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts dismissed Walpin’s case, asserting that the Inspector General Reform Act – a bill co-sponsored by then-Sen. Obama to keep inspectors general free from  political interference – gives Walpin no legal recourse for getting his job back, even if the president did fire him illegally. …


Byron York of the Washington Examiner expressed a larger concern: “If the decision by U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts stands, in the future the White House will be able fire other inspectors general as it fired Walpin without fear of legal consequences.”



U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts’ ruling shielded Obama’s illegal firing of Inspector General Walpin while seriously undermining the protection afforded to Inspector Generals from retaliation.


In 2013 Roberts was promoted to Chief Judge for the U.S. District for the District of Columbia.


An article from The Washington Times provides more critical insight:


Judge Roberts was ignoring several legal deadlines to the benefit of Mr. [Attorney General Eric] Holder’s administration on numerous motions and countermotions in a key lawsuit for which Mr. Holder’s underlings effectively were acting as defense attorneys. …


Pressed by a higher court to justify his delays, Judge Roberts two months later ruled completely in the administration’s favor – tossing out the suit, without trial, of Gerald A. Walpin, the AmeriCorps inspector general whose investigations had embarrassed several of President Obama’s friends. …


This was no mere technicality. Congress specifically required a 30-day notice for dismissing inspectors general (IGs) in order to avoid compromising ongoing investigations. As Mr. Walpin’s brief said, the firing will “have a corrosive, adverse impact on the watchdog purpose of the IG.”


Nevertheless, Judge Roberts first stalled the case for nearly a full year, then tried to kill it outright. Mr. Walpin’s appeal, citing the judge’s inexcusably missed deadlines, asked that the case not only be reinstated, but also reassigned to a different judge.


Reassignment makes sense for additional reasons. …

When Mr. Holder was U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., he made Mr. Roberts his principal deputy. When Mr. Holder was deputy attorney general in the Clinton Justice Department, Mr. Roberts served him as head of the Civil Rights Division’s criminal section. Mr. Holder had some authority in vetting Mr. Roberts’ 1998 judicial nomination.




Eric Holder and Richard Roberts have embraced each other in a sinister web of corruption that extends far beyond the illegal firing of an inspector general.




Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Photo: Wikipedia)


The day Roberts announced his abrupt retirement, Jason Chaffetz Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, issued a press statement proclaiming, “Our initial review of the allegations has caused alarm and distress … We will work with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to determine next best steps to ensure justice is served.”



How will Chaffetz respond to the dismissal of misconduct charges against a sexual predator judge?


[T]he House Oversight Committee, led by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), now says it plans to seek answers about when the court and the Justice Department first learned of the allegations and what they did in response, according to a source on the panel. No hearings have been scheduled yet.

Will ANYONE answer these questions?


  • Why should a sexual predator judge be allowed to retire with impunity and enjoy full retirement benefits?


  • Will Roberts’ purported medical affliction be independently verified?


  • Roberts claims that he began the process of retirement before he learned of the sexual allegation charges. Who will investigate the veracity of this self-serving assertion?


Judge Richard Roberts’ sexual malfeasance is not the only stain on his checkered career.




“I felt Mr. Trentadue had been abused and tortured, … it’s very likely he was murdered.” – Dr. Fred Jordan




Dateline: June 1997 The Oregon Observer

Murder and Cover-Up

By Former U.S. Congressman George Hansen


His head had been repeatedly smashed, the skull crushed in three places, by blows from a heavy metal baton; his throat was cut; torn by a garrote; there were repeated burns by an electrical stun gun on his head, shoulder and at the base of his spine; there were massive cuts, bruises and abrasions all over his body and even tortuous marks on the bottoms of his feet.


Kenneth Trentadue had literally been beaten to death in an Oklahoma federal prison, between front and back from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. Yet, the United States Department of Justice claims he committed suicide and even more incredibly, they claim that his wounds were all self-inflicted or that his family mutilated his body. This is not only a ghastly and supremely insensitive cover-up of a heinous murder by officers of the U.S. government, but a position totally rejected by the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner.


Trentadue’s family believes, without a doubt, that he was tortured and killed by federal agents and that this brutal murder is covered up by the Justice Department.


When Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, brother of Kenneth Trentadue, requested to see the findings of a federal grand jury investigation into the case which found no evidence of foul play,  Richard Roberts who at the was head of the Civil Rights criminal section, admonished Mr. Trentadue with the ludicrous assertion that, “You have to trust the government.”


Compare and contrast Robert’s condescending veneer to the words of Doctor Fred Jordon, medical examiner for the state of Oklahoma during an interview with Fox News:


There are still questions about the death of Kenneth Trentadue that will never be answered because of the actions of the United States government.


Reference: (Poor visual.)


Another Oklahoma state official had this to say:


All Americans should be very frightened of [federal agents] and the DOJ.” – Patrick Crawley Assistant Attorney General for Oklahoma



For his part Jesse Trentadue fired back at DOJ prosecutor and sexual predator Richard Roberts by explaining that the foundation of our government is not based on trust, rather it is based on accountability of the government to the citizens.


  • Sexual predator Richard Roberts played an active role in transmogrifying the savage murder of Kenneth Trentadue into a bizarre hanging suicide all the while assuring the Trentadue family that the DOJ was conducting a thorough investigation.


To be sure, Roberts was not acting alone. Then-Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder was also an active participant:


The paper trail on Mr. Holder’s actions is scant. However emails and handwritten notes by those working under Mr. Holder in the Justice Department have surfaced. These documents paint a clear picture of a wide-ranging cynical scheme, run directly by Holder, to quash my family’s efforts to have my brother’s murder investigated, and to deflect congressional oversight and media attention from the shocking circumstances of his death.

– Jesse Trentadue (Excerpt from letter to Senator Leahy.)




The emails that Jesse Trentadue was able to obtain reveal the cynical mind-set of Justice Department operatives while they went about their dirty work.


One of the geniuses wrote: We ain’t looking for press on this.


Another email states, referring to the team’s efforts to thwart the press from discovering the phony “investigation” conducted by the DOJ regarding Kenneth Trentadue’s horrible beating death, “This is like coordinating the invasion of Normandy.”


In his letter Jesse Trentadue points out that Holder and his band of underlings dubbed their operation as “Trentadue Mission.”


Richard Roberts and Eric Holder: the well of hypocrisy from which they draw their polluted water is a deep one. No wonder the U.S. government gets away with torture and murder.


Mark Adams

Government Reform Project



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *