As reported in the New York Observer this past Wednesday, heretofore rarely a hotbed of anti-Obama sentiment:
In perhaps the most stunning documentation yet of abuses by Eric Holder’s Justice Department, two former Assistant United States Attorneys spoke to defense attorneys and revealed appalling deceit and corruption of justice. This latest litigation time bomb has exploded from multi-million dollar litigation originally brought by the Department of Justice against Sierra Pacific based on allegations that the lumber company and related defendants were responsible for a wildfire that destroyed 65,000 acres in California.
Sierra Pacific Industries and other defendants were compelled to pay $55 million to the United States over a period of five years and transfer 22,500 acres of land to settle massive litigation brought against them by the United States alleging that they caused a 2007 fire that destroyed 65,000 acres in California. Sierra Pacific has always maintained that the fire started elsewhere and that the state and federal investigators and Department attorneys lied. Now that settlement may go up in smoke because of the new evidence of outrageous misconduct by the federal prosecutors and the investigators from state and federal offices, as well as findings earlier this year by a state judge.********************************The Sacramento Bee reported on the Defendant’s filing. Indeed, the Defendants’ motion informs us that a former Assistant United States Attorney came forward and disclosed that he believes that he was removed from the original prosecution by “his boss, David Shelledy, chief of the civil division in the United States Attorney’s office,” because he “rebuffed” pressure to “engage in unethical conduct as a lawyer.” Of course, like other former prosecutors who were unethical, Mr. Shelledy is to receive Attorney General Holder’s highest award for excellence—this week.The defendants also reveal that another former federal prosecutor, Eric Overby, left the Moonlight Fire prosecution team also, stating: “It’s called the Department of Justice. It’s not called the Department of Revenue.” According to the motion, Mr. Overby told defense counsel that in his entire career, “I’ve never seen anything like this. Never.”
Well, sadly we have, and we’ve been reporting on it as fast as we can. This is part of a disturbing and rapidly increasing pattern of abuses by this Department of Justice to line government coffers or redistribute the wealth to its political allies—using its overwhelming litigation might and federal agencies as a tool of extortion and wealth redistribution.
The entire original prosecution against Sierra Pacific appears to have been driven by the Department of Justice’s interest in hitting a “deep pocket” for millions of dollars of revenue. The Defendants’ motion to set aside the settlement reveals a series of fraudulent acts by federal and state authorities that defiles our system of justice.
The news about the shakedown of Sierra Pacific comes on the heels of this report from a year ago on Lumber Liquidators being raided:
Although details were initially sketchy, Lumber Liquidators’ (LL) stock price plunged as much as 10% early Friday after a reported raid by federal investigators on its headquarters related to a probe of illegal imports.
In a statement, the top flooring retailer with more than 300 stores nationwide, said it would provide to investigators information and documents related to the import of certain products.
The Department of Homeland Security, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Justice conducted the raid, acting under a sealed court-issued warrant.
Lumber Liquidators said it gets products from more than 110 U.S. and international mills globally, and has more than 60 people who monitor imports.
“The company takes its sourcing very seriously, and is cooperating with authorities to provide them with requested information,” the company said in a statement.
Specific details on what the Department of Homeland Security agents were searching for were not immediately available, and the company and government officials declined to comment beyond the initial statements.
Federal agents conducted the search of Lumber Liquidators headquarters in Toano, Va., and at one of its stores in Richmond, Va.
The unannounced search was reminiscent of earlier raids on Gibson Guitar facilities.
Indeed. What is it with the Obama administration and lumber-based businesses?
(I know: as opposed to coal-based businesses, oil-based businesses, businesses with GOP or Christian CEOs, small business in general, and pretty much every other business except Comcast, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO and Goldman-Sachs, apparently.)