Should the DOJ Take Up the Letter Fraud Case?

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Will the coal industry representative who may have lied under oath to Congress on Thursday face legal repercussions?

Steve Miller, CEO for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a major coal industry lobby group, said under oath that his organization “has never opposed the Waxman-Markey bill,” when in fact the group both publicly opposed the House climate bill and funded campaigns to convince legislators to vote against it.

Mother Jones contacted the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming to see whether they plan to pursue the issue. “We are currently reviewing the testimony and we will make any assessments on steps going forward after we review the testimony,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder, a spokesman for the committee.

If the committee decides that there’s cause to believe that Miller perjured himself, the matter would be turned over to the Department of Justice for investigation.

Activist groups are already hoping that the DOJ will get involved. After the details of the forged letters broke in August, the Sierra Club asked the DOJ to look into the case as potential wire fraud and MoveOn urged its members to sign a petition asking for a DOJ investigation.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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