In jail, ex-coal CEO says he’s ‘American political prisoner’

In jail, ex-coal CEO says he’s ‘American political prisoner’

Bill Stephens

October 5th, 2016


(AP) – A defiant Don Blankenship declared himself an “American political prisoner” on his blog, blaming others for the 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men and led to the former West Virginia coal operator’s imprisonment.

The ex-Massey Energy CEO said he plans to distribute 250,000 copies of the 67-page diatribe in booklet form.

The 66-year-old Blankenship reported to a California federal prison May 12 for a one-year sentence for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine, site of the explosion.

Oral arguments in his federal appeal will be Oct. 26.

Blankenship wrote that politicians imprisoned him for political, self-serving reasons.

He claims misconduct by prosecutors, judges, law clerks, the FBI, President Barack Obama, Sen. Joe Manchin and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Former U.S. attorney Booth Goodwin calls the booklet “more Blankenship propaganda.”

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