May 8, 2019

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Latest News, West Virginia

Trump’s DOJ Rakes Justice Over the Coals

After losing local Republicans and gaining a primary challenger, Trump’s DOJ sues Justice

Yesterday, President Donald Trump’s U.S. Department of Justice announced it has sued nearly two dozen companies owned by or affiliated with West Virginia Gov. Justice to collect nearly $4 million in miner-safety violations from the companies in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee. With Trump’s DOJ now led by a staunch ally, this is a huge siren that the relationship between the West Virginia governor and the president has soured.

The 23 companies were sued for violating over 2,000 regulations of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration over a five-year period and refusing to pay civil penalties levied by the government. When Justice assumed office in 2017, the Justice companies held the highest delinquent mine safety debt in the U.S. mining industry.

It’s no wonder FiveThirtyEight found Gov. Justice to be “significantly less popular than the partisanship of his state suggests he should be.”

“When your most important ally has his Department of Justice sue you for delinquency, you know your re-election bid is in trouble,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “This adds on to the litany of challenges Justice faces, including a federal subpoena of the West Virginia Department of Revenue for tax records involving dozens of companies run by Justice and a high-profile primary challenge by his former chief development executive. It’s no wonder one local Republican committee after another has voted that they have no confidence in his leadership.”

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