Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) has added his voice to those of Sierra Club and MoveOn.org by calling for a criminal investigation of the forged letters sent by a lobbying firm on behalf of the coal industry.
It happened last night during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Toward the end of a segment that offered a good rundown of the story so far — and particularly the crucial point that both Bonner and their coal industry client knew about the forgeries before the House vote on the energy bill, but didn’t inform the affected lawmakers until after the vote — Maddow asked Pallone whether the issue of the forged letters was something that “could potentially be a criminal matter.”
I think it’s possible, and I’m sure they will, and they certainly should investigate. Because, you know, we rely, and I think our democracy relies, on a certain amount of truth — that when people are writing to you, that they are what they purport to be. And I think it is a form of fraud that should be investigated.
Congress is already probing the issue. Rep. Ed Markey has sent letters to Bonner and Associates and to the coal industry group on whose behalf Bonner was working, asking detailed questions about the episode.