A federal judge has rejected a U.S. government request for him to reconsider his prior ruling throwing out an obstruction of Congress charge against a former BP executive in connection with the investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Federal prosecutors obtained a new indictment against David Rainey of Houston this week charging him anew with impeding the Congressional probe of the disaster.
Apparently aware they may have trouble getting the revised charge to stick, prosecutors simultaneously asked U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt to reconsider his May 20 ruling throwing out the previous charge.
In a terse order Friday, Engelhardt said that after “having carefully examined the motion papers, the court finds no basis for changing its prior ruling.”
Rainey’s attorneys are expected to challenge the new indictment, and they have until next week to file papers regarding the renewed obstruction charge. Rainey, who has pleaded not guilty, also faces a charge of making false statements to investigators. That charge was unaffected by the judge’s prior ruling.
London-based BP owned the undersea well that blew out off the coast of Louisiana, triggering the deadly explosion on the Transocean-owned Deepwater Horizon rig. Millions of gallons of oil spewed into the sea for nearly three months before the well was capped. Halliburton supplied the cement that failed to stop oil and gas from flowing up the well.
Read ongoing FuelFix coverage of the fallout out from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill:
- Judge hands partial victory to former BP engineer (June 6)
- Encana taps former BP exec as CEO (June 11)
- Coast Guard ending active Gulf oil spill cleanup in 3 states (June 10)
- Mississippi to use some BP money for stadium (May 31)
- Gulf spill victims fight companies’ effort to gut punitive damage claims (May 21)