Don Blankenship's Attorneys Will File Motion for Misdemeanor Verdict To Be Vacated
Today my attorneys will file a motion to vacate my misdemeanor conviction. The motion will include the following and more. The motion will say that after prosecutors Booth Goodwin and Steve Ruby left the United States Attorney’s office that the government began to provide to my attorneys information that would have been helpful to my defense but that had not been provided before trial. This is information the government was legally obligated to provide me for my defense. Included in the information were sixty one Memorandums of Interviews (MOI). Also included were forty-eight emails and nine previously undisclosed documents. Included among these documents were ten MOI of the government’s two lead witnesses. Also included were Mine Safety And Health Administration (MSHA) documents which directly contradicted the governments theory of prosecution. Some of these documents were received just a few days ago While the full scope of the prosecutors conduct is not yet known the motion confirms that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has referred these matters to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). OPR has not yet completed or released its investigation report but the report is likely to include even more undisclosed exculpatory materials. One of the now disclosed documents confirms what I have said for eight years. The government forced the UBB miners to use a faulty ventilation plan. The MOI says that a lead prosecution witness, when interrogated, told investigators that the “UBB mine was set up to fail based on the ventilation system MSHA forced the UBB mine to use.” This witness was a 35-year veteran of MSHA and was an MSHA ventilation specialist. This single document, which again was undisclosed pre-trial, confirms that the faulty UBB ventilation plan was MSHA’s plan and not the miners plan. Other interesting prosecution facts contained in the motion are 1) that roughly sixty five percent of the undisclosed emails were authored by a single FBI agent; 2) that Assistant Prosecutor Steve Ruby knew better yet he told the Judge that all MOI from the interviews of a lead witness had been provided to the defense pre-trial; and 3) that Ruby was personally present in at least five interviews of one lead witness for which no MOI was provided to my defense. As to MSHA the motion points out clear evidence that MSHA may have destroyed documents. This despite the fact that prosecutors told the Judge that MSHA had fully complied with a federal subpoena, which ordered that they provide to my defense all UBB, related documents. One of the documents not provided under this subpoena is the one I released months ago which says that “MSHA had a shredding party at Beckley last night”. The motion in summary makes clear to any fair minded person that I was subjected to a trial wherein I faced life in prison while the government was lying, withholding information illegally, and destroying documents. It also makes clear that a former MSHA ventilation specialist told the FBI and the prosecutors that UBB and the UBB miners were set up to “fail based on the ventilation system MSHA forced the miners to use.” It is obvious to anyone with knowledge of mining that the MSHA investigation reports and all the so called independent reports are lies just like my prosecution was a lie. The real conspiracy is that the government covered up the UBB truth and blamed the miners so that Obama did not have to admit that the miners were set up to fail by MSHA. While my efforts to expose the UBB truth are not yet completed I believe the deceased miners will soon be able to rest in peace knowing that their legacy of being great people and great coal miners is secured. In fact, all miners who worked at UBB, on any shift and in any capacity, can now again be proud and hold their heads high. I also hope my efforts and the results thus far are providing the families at least some degree of comfort.