Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who led the investigation into the BP oil spill, today said that the Department of Justice should appeal the decision by the judge in the trial of BP executive David Rainey to throw out the charge of obstructing Congress.
Rainey testified at the first closed-door briefing on May 4, 2010. Rep. Markey, who was then the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Environment Subcommittee, called this first meeting between Congress and BP, Halliburton and Transocean where employees of those companies disclosed information to the subcommittee related to the possible flow rate of the Macondo well, and other details. Subsequent to that briefing, the subcommittee continued to investigate the BP spill and moved legislation aimed at strengthening drilling safety and increasing penalties on companies for violations.
"When the American people cannot directly investigate a company or a group doing harm, that's where Congress steps in on their behalf. Congress does so through its committees and subcommittees. When a judge undercuts Congress' ability to keep companies like BP honest, he undercuts the voice of Americans everywhere. 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. I encourage the Department of Justice to appeal this decision and tell Americans that their voices -- heard through their elected representatives -- do matter to our justice system, and to our democracy," said Rep. Markey.