BLANKENSHIP ISSUES OPEN LETTER TO FEDERAL MAGISTRATE JUDGE ABOULHOSN
Your recommendation ruling to void my conviction last week included a statement that Former US Attorney Booth Goodwin and Assistant US Attorney Steve Ruby’s violation of my Constitutional rights was the result of their errors. You said they had no intent to violate my rights.
WHY DO THEY NOT APOLOGIZE?
My thought was that if they had no intent to do wrong they would be sorry and if they were asked to do so they would be willing to apologize for having made dozens of errors. Their errors were very serious and careless errors. They were not minor errors like bumping into someone in a crowded store wherein most of us would automatically say “I’m sorry?”
Conversely, what you have called Goodwin and Ruby’s “errors” were very serious. They could have caused me to spend the rest of my life in prison. The errors, according to your ruling, may have caused me to wrongfully spend a year of my life in prison and much, much more.
So, as you might have noticed, I publicly asked Mr. Ruby, Mr. Goodwin, Judge Goodwin, and Senator Manchin to publicly apologize. I suspect you were not surprised when they did not.
My view is that their failing to apologize for their errors evidences that they do not believe they made errors. But I already knew that, and I believe you knew that too. My guess is that we are both confident that they knew exactly what they were doing. They also knew that what they were intentionally doing had violated the Brady law.
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW
The truth also is that all people who are paying attention to what has gone on with my case know that Booth Goodwin and Steve Ruby intentionally withheld exculpatory Federal Bureau of Investigation Memorandums of Interview (MOIs) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) documents from my defense. Even the Department of Justice says the documents which you say violated my Constitutional right to a fair trial were intentionally withheld. Ruby testified to it.
You, yourself, correctly ruled in your recommendation that these withheld documents contained defense favorable information and that their being withheld had violated the Brady law. Surely you do not think that Booth Goodwin and Steve Ruby believed that they could intentionally withhold every one of dozens of post indictment MOIs and not know they were withholding exculpatory Brady violating information.
But whether you believe that Goodwin and Ruby intentionally withheld dozens of exculpatory MOI’s or not, the public does believe it.
Americans familiar with my case laugh at the Court and the DOJ when they read such fairy tales that what Goodwin and Ruby did were just “errors”. They say to themselves and to others, “oh yea, sure”. The public’s chuckle is so loud that it should be heard even in the Charleston federal courthouse.
The Southern West Virginia Federal Judges need to ask themselves some questions. Is excusing the intentional actions of prosecutors that violate Brady law what you want your court to be known for? Do the Southern West Virginia Federal Judges want people to laugh when the subject of their court comes up in conversation? Do you and the other Judges want people to be saying “those Judges are either corrupt or stupid”?
You fellas know that Ruby testified to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) that Booth Goodwin directed him to withhold the exculpatory information documents. You know that Ruby did exactly what he says he was directed to do, i.e. withhold all post indictment MOIs. Ruby also did other improper things which are pointed out by OPR in a 96-page report detailing Ruby and Goodwin misconduct. You read that report. You know that if Ruby was not acting improperly on the basis of a directive from Booth, that Ruby also committed perjury when he testified to OPR.
The court needs to face up and fess up to the fact that it is wrong to say in your recommendation last week that “errors” caused these Brady violations. To the contrary, Ruby essentially says that even Judge Goodwin purposefully caused Brady violations. But regardless of the Judge’s real intent the Brady violations were according to Ruby, at least partially, the result of “Judge” Goodwin being upset that my attorneys filed a motion. A motion which said that my attorneys believed Judge Goodwin’s son Booth had committed prosecution misconduct.
Again, you, your friends, and colleagues know that following my attorneys accusing Booth of misconduct he then undertook to commit even more intentional misconduct. Again, if this is not true then Ruby committed perjury for a second time when he testified to OPR.
Booth literally acted with malice and in disregard of the law governing prosecutor conduct because he was accused of acting with malice and in disregard of the law governing prosecutor conduct. Ruby knew that carrying out Goodwin’s directive would violate my Constitutional rights. Your saying otherwise is incredulous.
NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE?
The evidence is clear that Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Ruby framed me to fulfill their ulterior motive. An ulterior motive that you say there is no evidence of. Their ulterior motive being to elevate their personal careers and in Booth’s case to fulfill his dream of becoming West Virginia’s Governor. Yet you said in your decision last week that there is not a “scintilla” of evidence Goodwin or Ruby acted based on an ulterior motive.
How then do you explain that both Goodwin and Ruby after having convicted me of a single non-existent misdemeanor rushed to New York to be on national television in order to declare me to be a felon? You said that all they were doing while prosecuting me was attempting to convict me of violating the law. What were they doing on 60 Minutes? “60 Minutes” is not a courtroom.
Were Goodwin and Ruby still attempting to convict me of breaking a law while telling Anderson Cooper and the entire country that I was akin to a “drug kingpin” running a “criminal enterprise”?
Your saying in your decision that you did “not find a scintilla of evidence that Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Ruby acted with improper motive or with malice toward” me is again incredulous. It is words and actions like those that have destroyed American respect for the American justice system.
The public believes that not only were Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Ruby’s actions based on an ulterior motive they believe your words were as well. The public has no choice but to believe that you are motivated to protect Judge Goodwin’s son. A man who should rightfully suffer more punishment than just losing his law license. My hope is that my case and my “vitriolic rhetoric”, as you call it, is helping to cause you and the other Judges to reflect on what you all want to be.
Do you want the American people to think of your court as the “Southern West Virginia Federal Judicial Swamp”?
WHO REALLY CARES
The question now is who really cares about fairness and miner safety?
I appreciate that you have recommended that my misdemeanor conviction be voided. Thank you. But I have not fought the corrupt case against me and the former corrupt Southern West Virginia DOJ office all these years just to void a misdemeanor conviction.
If you are to ever understand why I use “vitriolic rhetoric” you will first need to understand that I care far more about the safety of coal miners and doing what is right than the Southern West Virginia Federal Court system does. Who has paid the bigger price to get the UBB truth told? Who on the other hand shredded documents, withheld Brady information, and claims that prosecutor errors are excusable but that other people’s lesser errors are reasons for prison terms.
Coal miners know who has stood up on their behalf and for their safety. I suspect you do too.
Coal miners know that there has never been anyone before me who was tried in a court of law for putting profits over safety while MSHA was simultaneously touting my personal innovation as the greatest mine safety invention in decades. Yes, at the time of my trial MSHA was displaying my safety innovation on the home page of their website. An innovation that cost millions of dollars to perfect and an innovation that was just one of dozens.
The guy, Don Blankenship, who you think might have been convicted in a fair trial grew up as a coal miner with coal miners. He oversaw the mining of more coal than anyone in the history of our area. In fact, the mining of more coal than anyone else ever will. My loyalty to coal miners dwarfs what those that criticize me are capable of understanding.
What loyalty has this court or the prosecutors shown to the perished UBB miners? Miners who perished because MSHA took away their airflow for no reason other than that they wanted to do so. A prosecution office that turned their heads to obvious MSHA lies. A federal court that played to the emotions of the people rather than the facts of what caused the explosion and the rules of law.
THE COURT NEEDS TO BE REMINDED
You and the court should not forget that despite the prosecutors cheating and despite my not putting on a defense the jury found me not guilty of three false felony charges. You might also reflect on the facts that I did not flee and I did not plea. I also did not shred documents or say the prosecutors were running a criminal enterprise.
Yet, Judge Berger sent me to prison for a non-existent first-time misdemeanor saying that I could have been a hero but instead I became a criminal. Where is her apology?
THE COURT NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND
On another most important point. You and your colleagues need to understand that your inclusion of the deceased miners names was a listing of MSHA’s victims not UBB or Blankenship victims. Your including of the perished miners names in the beginning of your recommendation ruling is only appropriate for one reason. That reason is that you follow your remembrance of the perished miners with twenty-five pages evidencing MSHA’s coverup of the UBB truth. These withheld documents are not just evidence supporting my innocence they are evidence supporting that MSHA killed the UBB coal miners.
You pointed out proof of MSHA’s bias toward me and Massey. It was a bias that led to MSHA harassing the UBB miners with false violations. You also wrote about other MSHA misbehavior. You noted evidence of MSHA’s potential responsibility for the defective ventilation plan that failed to prevent the UBB explosion. You noted evidence that MSHA shredded documents during a federal investigation. You noted evidence of MSHA failing to consider the impact that their defective ventilation plan had on the control of coal dust at UBB and more.
Simply put these MSHA actions of withholding documents, shredding documents, altering maps after the explosion etc. are the actions of the guilty.
Yet you chastised me for my rhetoric about these same atrocious examples of MSHA corruption. If I had done what you listed as evidence of MSHA managers having done, your colleagues would have rightfully investigated and convicted me, at least of obstruction of justice. Yes, MSHA managers should have been charged with crimes.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
What is it that you think I should do about the fact that MSHA caused twenty-nine coal miners to die and lied about it? What would you do?
Based on your defense of Goodwin and Ruby, my guess is that you would just go along to get along even knowing that twenty-nine more miners could die today if you did. After all, what you did in excusing Goodwin and Ruby’s behavior is somewhat analogous with what my being silent about the miners deaths would be. Actions which would allow the guilty to go unpunished.
As you read in the material you considered before making your recommendation to void my conviction, several MSHA employees say MSHA “got away with it”. Now you will have many people saying “Goodwin and Ruby “got away with it”.
Intentional prosecutorial misconduct being condoned by Judges will lead to more innocent Americans being imprisoned. MSHA misconduct being condoned by any of us will lead to more miners being killed in mine tragedies.
For the record I am innocent. Nothing you nor anyone else can say or do will change that.