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Justice Department and Congress should investigate whether BP committed perjury

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Justice Department and Congress should investigate whether BP committed perjury

By Brent Budowsky - 05/21/10 11:21 AM ET

The Department of Justice and congressional committees should open a preliminary inquiry about whether BP committed perjury in testimony before Congress. All video of the spill should be released publicly. Subpoenas should be issued for any information from within BP about its private estimates of the size of the spill and the dangers of the dispersants. Key BP personnel should be formally interviewed by investigators.

Two specific issues should be investigated:

1. When BP testified and gave obviously lowball estimates of the size of the oil spill, did BP have private evidence that contradicted its public testimony?

2. When BP testified about the health and environmental dangers of the dispersant formula it has poured into the Gulf of Mexico, did BP have private evidence that contradicted its public testimony and suggested that the dangers were significantly worse than the testimony claimed?

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I am calling for a preliminary investigation about these matters, not drawing a legal conclusion at this time. Note that BP was withholding videos of the oil spilling, videos that strongly suggest that the size of the spill was greater than indicated in its testimony.

Also, over the last 10 days a number of leading experts were publicly warning that the size of the spill was significantly greater than BP was claiming. What did BP know, and when did it know it, compared to testimony under oath before Congress?

The Justice Department and Congress should issue subpoenas for any internal BP materials that would prove whether BP believed, or did not believe, its testimony. There should also be interviews with relevant BP officials to determine whether there were private meetings, discussions or estimates that contradicted the BP testimony.

Now is not the time to draw legal conclusions, it is the time to determine the facts about whether or not there was perjury in BP's testimony to Congress.

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served as (more...)

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Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.... by Michael Morris on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 5:45:18 PM