US Opens Criminal Inquiry Into Oil Spill

Holder: 'We will be extremely forceful'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2010 3:41 PM CDT
US Opens Criminal Inquiry Into Oil Spill
A supply vessel passes through an oil sheen near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, Monday, May 31, 2010.    (Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – Attorney General Eric Holder said today that federal authorities have opened criminal and civil investigations into the Gulf oil spill. The developments were expected, and the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend that the scope of the criminal inquiry seems larger than a mere formality even in these early stages.

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"We will closely examine the actions of those involved in the spill," said Holder. "If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be extremely forceful in our response." President Obama expressed a similar sentiment earlier today. Meanwhile, BP has begun making the first major cut in the riser pipe on the ocean floor, part of its new containment plan.
(Read more Gulf oil spill stories.)

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