Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today demanded more answers from the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Interior (DOI) regarding the raid conducted last month on Gibson Guitar. In response to a letter sent by Blackburn and other leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee two weeks ago requesting to be briefed on the details as to why the decision was made to raid on the iconic Tennessee company, DOJ and DOI delivered a letter to Committee officials late last night. While their letter provides some of the requested information, Blackburn found the response to be far from satisfactory.
"I am frustrated by the Administration's refusal to brief me and our committee with real answers," Blackburn said. "Specifically, why did they send armed agents into Gibson's facilities? It is beyond me why not once, but twice, the administration felt the need to act like a bunch of cowboys, when I am sure a letter like this or a simple phone call stating their concerns to Gibson's leaders would have prompted a very cooperative response."
Blackburn did say she was pleased that the Administration did state in the letter that people who "unknowingly" possess instruments that might contain illegally taken wood "do not have criminal exposure." But with that, she said the Administration is ignoring Gibson's "incredible" efforts to ensure the wood they import is legal.
"I am glad to see administration officials stating on the record that they won't treat unsuspecting musicians as criminals," Blackburn said. "I had hoped to get some clarification on this matter, and I am sure it is comforting to these entertainers to know that they won't be hauled away in handcuffs one day as they travel the world entertaining millions of fans. But, that the Administration only applies "unknowingly" to individuals, and not to Gibson begs even more questions, and I will continue to hold the Obama Administration's feet to the fire until we receive more adequate answers."