Davis used the press conference to outline facts that were “inconsistent with what seemed to be a preconceived conclusion” by the Committee and therefore omitted or minimized in the Committee’s referral letter
One such minimized fact concerned a June 12, 2019 letter written by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that confirmed that its earlier decision to reinstate the development’s Clean Water Act permit was correct on the law and the facts
WASHINGTON , May 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On Thursday, May 19, 2022, attorney Lanny J. Davis held a national telephonic press conference to rebut allegations made against Arizona businessman Mike Ingram by the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee and request the opportunity to rebut the allegations before the full Committee.
In his press conference, Davis itemized facts illustrating why Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva and Subcommittee Chair Katie Porter should be investigated for abuse of power, violation of due process, and for making “false and misleading” assertions in their referral if a chance wasn’t given to publicly rebut the allegations before the full Committee.
Davis outlined five facts he asserts the Committee Chairs either minimized or ignored altogether because they were “inconsistent with what seemed to be a preconceived conclusion.” One example of such a fact concerned a June 12, 2019 letter written by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that confirmed that its earlier decision to reinstate the Villages at Vigneto’s Clean Water Act permit was correct on the law and the facts. Davis quoted directly from that letter:
“We take the allegations [of political interference] made by Mr. Spangle seriously. For this reason, our reevaluation has occurred at the field office level only with no regional or Washington D.C. headquarters review. Mr. Spangle’s allegations do not change our previous determinations…”
Davis highlighted four other “inconvenient” facts:
- The Clean Water Act permit for the Villages at Vigneto development at issue was allowed to stand for seven years under President Barack Obama’s administration.
- When Mr. Ingram communicated with senior officials at the Interior Department, he sent along a memorandum of law and facts supporting his request, and he asked these and other officials to make their decision only on the facts and the law, and nothing else.
- The Army Corps of Engineers had determined on its own, on May 26, 2017, months before the donations at issue had even occurred, that the Villages at Vigneto “is not likely to adversely affect,” the three endangered species in question.
- On May 23, 2019, the Army Corps on its own initiative asked the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to review its decision in light of allegations from Mr. Spangle, which led to Fish & Wildlife’s June 12, 2019 determination flagged above.
In his statements, Davis noted the full transparency and cooperation his client provided the Committee:
“For over a year during the Committee’s investigation, Mr. Ingram instructed me to be 100% transparent and cooperative, with no subpoenas required. We voluntarily turned over thousands of pages of documents: emails, correspondence, and records of phone calls and meetings. We also made offers for Mr. Ingram to meet with the Chair.”
Davis criticized the fact that the Committee publicly aired their allegations of criminal behavior without allowing for due process to play out first:
“They made this charge before the Justice Department had determined whether to undertake an investigation, before the results of any such investigation, before indictment, if any, were returned by a Grand Jury and, most objectionably, before trial and due process was afforded to Mr. Ingram.
“If a Republican ever did such a thing, we progressive Democrats would denounce such a blatant disrespect for the constitutional presumption of innocence inherent in the Due Process Clause.”
Davis made clear in the press conference that his remarks were not directed at the Department of Justice:
“I completely trust the independence and integrity of this Justice Department and this Attorney General, Merrick Garland. I will therefore have no comments about the Justice Department’s review.”
Davis concluded his press conference by reiterating his request to present his case directly to the full Committee, an opportunity he was not afforded before the Committee made its criminal referral letter public.
A copy of Davis’s full remarks, in addition to copies of the documents he references, can be found at this site: https://eldoradoholdings.net/Facts-About-The-Villages-at-Vigneto-and-Rebuttal-to-House-Committee-5-11-22-Letter/index.html.
Contact: [email protected]
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SOURCE Lanny Davis