The Flint water crisis is taking a new turn this week. Anger among the affected continues to boil, with much of it misdirected at the only Republican in sight, but there are plenty of necks which may wind up on the chopping block when all is said and done. Now the Michigan state Attorney General’s office is getting in on the act and looking to see if some people could be brought up on very serious charges if they are found responsible. (Washington Post)
As a probe begins into the water crisis gripping Flint, Mich., a top investigator announced Tuesday that if officials are found to have been grossly negligent, they could face charges as serious as manslaughter.
“We’re here to investigate what possible crimes there are, anything [from] involuntary manslaughter or death that may have happened to some young person or old person because of this poisoning, to misconduct in office,” said Todd Flood, special counsel for the state attorney general’s office who is in charge of the investigation. “We take this very seriously.”
Outrage over those deaths and the possible long-term effects of lead poisoning hung over Tuesday’s news conference. Flood was brought in to lead the investigation last month because the Department of the Attorney General is defending Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and various state departments against lawsuits brought by Flint residents.
Flood is also acknowledging that the investigation could find that the deaths and any subsequent cases of illness may turn out to be the result of “honest mistakes” by the state, but I rather doubt that the public is in much of a mood to hear that. Michael Moore is still out there calling for Governor Snyder’s head on a plate and Hillary Clinton has certainly implied as much without stating it directly. For his part, Snyder saw that punch coming a mile away and warned nearly a month ago that Clinton was politicizing the crisis for her own political benefit.
Snyder “acted as though he really didn’t care” about Flint residents and “basically stonewalled” on initial requests for help, Clinton said.
“Obviously, I care,” Snyder said in response to Clinton’s comments Monday morning in Flint. “I’m here today. We’ve done a number of actions. We’re going to keep working on putting solutions in place.
“And what I would say is, politicizing the issue doesn’t help matters. Let’s focus in on the solution and how to deal with the damage that was done and help the citizens of Flint and make Flint a stronger community.”
If the Democrats at the federal level get involved in this circus the results are easy to predict. Snyder was on Morning Joe today talking about all of the proposals currently on the table to clean this up, and when he was asked where the initial fault would be found he correctly identified the state Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA. Unfortunately for those looking to make political hay out of this, the EPA is the province of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton (currently holding onto the Obama legacy like a lifesaver) certainly doesn’t want any aspersions cast in that direction.
If the Democrats and their celebrity allies like Michael Moore manage to hang this around Snyder’s neck without holding the true stakeholders accountable it will be the political coup of a lifetime. It will also represent a monumental failure of the American justice system.