FBI Ordered to Turn Over Covenant School Shooter’s Manifesto for Judicial Review

FBI Ordered to Turn Over Covenant School Shooter’s Manifesto for Judicial Review

A federal judge mandated on Friday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation must hand over all documents concerning Audrey Elizabeth Hale, the perpetrator of the Covenant School shooting, including her manifesto, for a private examination of the materials.

This ruling stems from a high-profile lawsuit filed by Star News Digital Media Inc. and Michael Patrick Leahy — CEO and editor in chief of Star News Digital Media — against the FBI in May 2023, seeking the disclosure of Hale’s manifesto.

Hale, a 28-year-old woman who identified as a man named Aiden, killed six people — three 9-year-old students and three staff members — at the Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 27. Hale was shot and killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime.

According to The Tennessee Star’s report, in a filing made in July 2023, the FBI contended that the release of even a single page from Hale’s manifesto could endanger ongoing investigations concerning potential federal offenses.

The official ruling deemed Hale acted alone, but officials have refused to release the manifesto, citing the need to protect an ongoing investigation.

Trauger wrote in a three-page order, “The court finds that the FBI’s assertions cannot be evaluated adequately based on the available materials and that, although the FBI’s position may ultimately be well-founded, it has not supported that position with sufficient clarity or detail to permit the court to recognize the asserted exemptions at this time.”

Trauger continued, “The court also finds that the significant public interest in both the requested materials and the law enforcement objectives asserted by the FBI support in camera review [private review by a judge to determine what is appropriate to be made public] and that no showing has been made that the requested materials will be so voluminous that they would pose a significant danger to judicial economy.”

In response to the ruling, Leahy said, “the court’s order today is a significant victory for the public’s right to know about the motives of Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who murdered six innocent Nashvillians at the Covenant School on March 27, 2023.”

Leahy received an ugly death threat on July 9 in response to his fight for freedom of information.

Conservative pundit and “Louder with Crowder” podcast host Steven Crowder alleged his team had procured three pages of Hale’s purported manifesto and released them on Nov. 4.

On a page headlined, “DEATH DAY,” Hale allegedly wrote, “Today is the day… The day has finally come!” and  “I can’t beleive its here. Don’t know how I was able to get this far, but here I am.”

The manifesto reportedly also included the phrase, “Kill those kids!!! those crackers going to fancy private schools,” among other disturbing words about the same school she had attended as a young girl.

According to Fox News, Hale kept more than 20 journals, so the three purportedly leaked pages represent only a glimpse of the killer’s writings.

Leahy said he was encouraged by the latest development in the case regarding the documents.

“I believe the court’s order for an in camera review of all the relevant documents is the right course of action, and I am confident that subsequent to that review the court will order the release of all these documents, because it is in the public interest to do so,” he told the Tennessee Star.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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