Opinion: U.S. wages war on Indian landowners

"Currently, we continue to wage war against the American Indian by refusal to accurately account for their trust fund money. This deplorable conduct is the subject of a lawsuit brought as a class action by the American Indians before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia styled as Cobell v Kempthorne, (sic Secretary of the US Department of Interior) at case number 96cv01285, Washington, DC.

The case was originally assigned to United States District Judge Royce Lamberth. No person with knowledge of Judge Lamberth’s past decisions would ever claim that he was anti-Federal government.

During the proceedings, Judge Lamberth formed an opinion that the Department of Interior was less than candid concerning the information that should be provided to the Indians to permit a fair trial. In February 1999, after the government’s abuses committed since the case began in 1996 had become intolerable, Judge Lamberth found Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Kevin Gover and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in contempt of court for their failure to produce documents, destruction of relevant documents and misrepresentations in sworn testimony.

The Department of Interior appealed Judge Lamberth’s findings to the United States Court of Appeals. In spite of additional false testimony, financial misconduct and bureaucratic retaliation against the Indians by the Department of Interior after entry of the contempt order, the Appellate Court reversed Judge Lamberth’s finding of contempt and removed him from the case. There was no proof that Judge Lamberth had entered the case with any animosity against the government. To the contrary, all negative opinion formed by Judge Lamberth was a result of evaluation of government conduct during the proceeding."

Get the Story:
William Sumner Scott: Where to begin: Wage peace (Spero News 12/4)

Final Briefs:
Cobell Brief: Conclusions of Law | Cobell Brief: Findings of Fact DOJ Brief: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Trial Transcripts:
Day 1 AM | Day 1 PM | Day 2 AM | Day 2 PM | Day 3 AM | Day 3 PM | Day 4 AM | Day 4 PM | Day 5 AM | Day 5 PM | Day 6 AM | Day 6 PM | Day 7 AM | Day 7 PM | Day 8 AM | Day 8 PM | Day 9 AM | Day 9 PM | Day 10 AM | Day 10 PM

Trial Order:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (April 20,2007)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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