Breaking news: Blankenship to take the 5th

December 10, 2010 by Ken Ward Jr.

We’ve just confirmed that retiring Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship no longer plans to appear next week to be questioned by state and federal investigators who are looking into the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster.

C.A. Phillips, acting director of the state Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training, said his agency was informed just a little while ago that Blankenship would invoke his 5th Amendment rights and not answer questions from the investigation team.

UPDATED: Here’s a copy of a letter from Blankenship’s attorney to the state Office of Miners Health Safety and Training.

2 Responses to “Breaking news: Blankenship to take the 5th”

  1. Monty says:

    Is anyone really surprised by this? Because legally, Blankenship had nothing to gain by testifying, and if he had nothing to gain, from his standpoint, what was the point? It’s all about limiting your legal liability and exposure and shifting the blame.

  2. Mari-Lynn says:

    After all his talk about a ‘clear conscience’ and how safety is Massey’s job #1, why am I not surprised he will take the 5th? What does this say about his commitment to aide the investigation into the deaths of 29 men at his own mine? People have a right to protect themselves from self-incrimination. Apparently, Blankenship is doing just that and it speaks volumes. As Sen Byrd said to him at the UBB hearings before Congress, “Shame”. The Dark Lord of Coal Country, indeed.