The Senate voted 50-45 this week to confirm President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leader amid great opposition from the GOP and even former Obama White House officials over the nominee’s connection to a 1989 eco-terrorism event.
The nominee, Tracy Stone-Manning, did not get a single GOP vote after accusations she lied to the Energy Committee over her connection in the 1989 National Forest tree-spiking case. All 48 Democrats in the Senate and two independent senators voted for her nomination to lead the BLM, which manages 245 million acres of land.
Two former top BLM officials that worked under former President Obama’s White House, including Obama’s first leader of the agency, Bob Abbey, who also came out against the Stone-Manning’s confirmation before Thursday’s vote, said her involvement in the terrorism case should disqualify her.
We first reported about the contents of a letter Stone-Manning sent to the U.S. Forest Service in 1989 for John P. Blount, her former friend and roommate, warning that a local forest in the state of Idaho was sabotaged using tree spikes to make the trees dangerous to log. Stone-Manning got legal immunity in order to testify against Blount in the 1993 criminal trial, resulting in his 17-month prison sentence.
Stone-Manning has since said Blount was a “rather disturbed” and “frightening” person, and she said she waited more than three years to tell authorities that she sent the letter because she was scared of him.
Blount said during a phone interview in August that he doesn’t like the way Stone-Manning describes the relationship.
“I knew who Tracy was but I didn’t know her well. She liked how I kissed,” Blount said. “I don’t see the menacing part of that.”
Stone-Manning informed the Senate Energy Committee back in May that she was never the target of a federal investigation, but the Forest investigator in the terrorism case, Michael Merkley, told the committee that the nominee was in fact one step from being indicted on the 1993 criminal charges for her “knowing participation in these crimes” before she got an attorney and an immunity deal.
With mounting Democrat-caused crises in our country, Senate Democrats’ top priority is to confirm an eco-terrorist collaborator who lied to the Senate. Tracy Stone-Manning should never be the director of @BLMNational. Senate Republicans are united against this dangerous nominee.
— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) September 29, 2021
Author: Blake Ambrose