U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in Louisiana has dismissed a charge against former BP plc executive David Rainey, who was accused of obstructing a congressional investigation concerning the Macondo well blowout in April 2010 (United States of America v. David Rainey, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 12-29). The government failed to allege knowledge of a pending congressional investigation, and the law Rainey was charged under did not apply to congressional subcommittee investigations, the judge stated in a 44-page ruling. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), whose inquiry was the basis for the obstruction charge, said he thought the ruling was incorrect. “When a judge undercuts Congress’ ability to keep companies like BP honest, he undercuts the voice of Americans everywhere,” Markey said. “This was a congressional investigation, plain and simple, and this kind of narrow and off-the-wall interpretation of how Congress investigates wrongdoing is deeply troubling.” Rainey still faces a felony charge carrying a maximum five-year sentence for making false statements to federal investigators (see NGI, Nov. 19, 2012).
Articles from Obstructing
A federal judge in Louisiana has dismissed a charge against a former BP plc executive accused of obstructing a congressional investigation concerning the Macondo well blowout in April 2010.
Kurt Mix, a 50-year-old former engineer for BP plc, was arrested Tuesday after being charged with two counts of obstructing justice after federal authorities said he intentionally destroyed evidence related to the Macondo well blowout and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico two years ago.