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Watchdog calls for investigation regarding Biden nominee's congressional testimony

"The facts, including as revealed by a U.S. Attorney and Ms. Stone-Manning's previous assertions, warrant a full investigation," Protect the Public's Trust said.

Updated: June 21, 2021 - 11:22pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Protect the Public's Trust has asked for the acting attorney for the District of Columbia to launch a probe pertaining to whether Tracy Stone-Manning, the nominee to head the Bureau of Land Management, ran afoul of the law in congressional testimony.

Fox News reported that the group's complaint points out that in written testimony to a Senate committee she communicated that she had never "been the target" of a criminal investigation.

"Common sense and publicly available facts point to the conclusion Ms. Stone-Manning was under investigation for her role in the tree-spiking eco-terrorism plot," the complaint says, according to the outlet. "Further, she was aware of the need to cooperate with the authorities to avoid federal indictment and/or prison."

"The record established by subpoenas, newspaper articles, Ms. Stone-Manning's own public statements, and the fact she testified in exchange for immunity clearly support this conclusion. Whether she was ultimately charged or convicted in the case is irrelevant; she was being investigated by federal authorities in the tree spiking case, and the fact of her immunity undeniably reinforces this point," the complaint said.

Citing court documents, Fox News previously reported that Stone-Manning in 1993 secured legal immunity for testimony that she had retyped and then sent an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of another individual. 

The note said that 500 pounds of "spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches in length" had been inserted into trees in an Idaho forest. "The sales were marked so that no workers would be injured and so that you a--holes know that they are spiked," the letter said. "The majority of the trees were spiked within the first ten feet, but many, many others were spiked as high as a hundred and fifty feet."

"P.S., You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people could get hurt," the letter declared, according to Fox News.

Tree spiking refers to placing metal or ceramic rods in tree trunks so that they cannot safely be chopped down, according to the Associated Press.

"Ms. Stone-Manning's representations on her written testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources appear to conflict with the facts around an eco-terrorism incident and the resulting investigation," the watchdog noted in a press release. "In answering the committee's official questionnaire, Ms. Stone-Manning appears to have knowingly and willfully concealed or covered up a material fact in order to deceive the U.S. Senate and the American public about the true nature of her involvement in an eco-terrorism case. She was granted immunity for her testimony in the case that resulted in at least one individual serving prison time. The facts, including as revealed by a U.S. Attorney and Ms. Stone-Manning's previous assertions, warrant a full investigation."

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