WASHINGTON -- A cryptic fax referring to the Oklahoma City bombing was sent to Rep. Steve Stockman by the former Republican chairwoman from Orange County, Texas, a Texas GOP official said yesterday.
Kent Adams, chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party, told reporters in Beaumont, Texas, that a woman identifying herself as the former chairwoman, Libby Molley, called the congressman Sunday night and said she had sent him the fax.
Mr. Adams said that Ms. Molley "reportedly has been affiliated with the Michigan Militia," a group in Michigan that has drawn the attention of federal authorities since the Oklahoma bombing.
Ms. Molley could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Stockman, meanwhile, acknowledged that he wrote Attorney General Janet Reno a letter in March urging her to inquire into an alleged plan for an "impending raid" on "citizens militias" by federal agencies and a special army unit.
A Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the idea that there had been plans for such a raid on militias was "nonsense."
The National Rifle Association's lobbying office put a message on the Internet computer network in March warning of "rumors of pending raids" on militias that were to occur March 25.
In Austin, meanwhile, state Sen. Mike Galloway said his office received a copy of the same fax that the congressman received just after the bombing.
"After hearing news reports this morning about the fax received by Congressman Steve Stockman's office, a district office staff member informed me a similar fax had been received in my district office," Mr. Galloway said in a statement. "I immediately directed the staff member to turn this information over to the FBI."
The hand-written message read: "First update. Bldg 7 to 10 floors only. Military people on scene -- BATF/FBI. Bomb threat received last week. Perpetrator unknown at this time. Oklahoma."
The word "Oklahoma" was underlined.
Mr. Stockman on Sunday denied reports that his office passed the fax on to the National Rifle Association and failed to give it to the FBI. Yesterday he released a letter from the FBI confirming his version of events.
Mr. Stockman also said that a staff member had given the fax to the NRA without his permission. He said he was considering whether to discipline the aide.
Telephone toll records indicate that the fax was sent about 10:50 a.m. EDT, about 50 minutes after the bombing, a federal official said.
Ms. Molley apparently left Texas in January, according to Mr. Adams, and went to work in Augusta, Mich., for Wolverine Productions, a firm that produces short-wave broadcasts aimed at militia audiences.
The machine that sent the fax to Mr. Stockman stamped the word "Wolverine" at the top.