DOJ Considers Charges Against Boeing

AP Photo/Lewis Joly

As if Boeing didn't already have enough troubles on its plate, things may be taking an additional turn for the worse. Back in 2021, following an investigation into two Boeing 737 Max aircraft that crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia, the company reached a settlement with the Department of Justice to avoid prosecution on charges of fraud. At that time, they wound up paying a staggering $2.5 billion settlement. But now the Justice Department is claiming that Boeing has violated the terms of that settlement and indicated that they may reopen the case. A decision on how they will proceed is expected by early July. Given the number of lawsuits the company is already facing stemming from a series of in-flight mishaps, this is probably the last thing they needed to hear. (Associated Press)

Advertisement

Boeing has violated a settlement that allowed the company to avoid criminal prosecution after two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max aircraft more than five years ago, the Justice Department told a federal judge on Tuesday.

It is now up to the Justice Department to decide whether to file charges against Boeing. Prosecutors will tell the court no later than July 7 how they plan to proceed, department said.

New 737 Max jets crashed in 2018 in Indonesia and 2019 in Ethiopia, killing 346 people. Boeing reached a $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department in January 2021 to avoid prosecution on a single charge of fraud — misleading federal regulators who approved the plane. Boeing blamed the deception on two relatively low-level employees.

As noted in the linked report, Boeing originally avoided federal charges by blaming a pair of junior inspectors for the faults in the navigation and autopilot software in the 737 Max jets. Numerous other planes experienced similar issues in the United States, but thankfully none of them crashed like the flights in Africa and Indonesia. But the recent testimony of Boeing whistleblowers suggests that the problems were far more ubiquitous than two sketchy inspectors and those shortcomings appear to have persisted until quite recently. 

In some ways, this move by the Department of Justice seems a bit premature. If fraud did take place leading to the deaths of hundreds of people and massive disruptions to the nation's air travel infrastructure, then the company should be held accountable. However, the investigations into the many allegations of deficient oversight and inspection procedures are still ongoing. It might be premature to pursue this case in federal court before having those results.

Advertisement

So why would Biden's DoJ be pursuing this case at this juncture? Are they simply looking to distract the public's attention away from the ongoing investigations into Biden Inc. and the crime wave resulting from the President's open border policies? Or are they surprising us by actually attempting to do the right thing for a change?

Of course, even if the Justice Department does push forward with this case, it's likely not the end of the road for Boeing. They can't put the entire management team of the company on trial for murder or anything close to it. Nor would they likely be able to shut them down. At most, the company will wind up paying another large fine, but Boeing has very deep pockets. We are also faced with the reality of asking what would happen to the global travel market if Boeing was somehow forced to close its doors. The only other company competing with Boeing in the commercial airline industry is Airbus. And they don't have the capacity to fill all of the orders that Boeing covers. They can barely keep up with the demands of their own customers, with most orders being taken years in advance of when the planes are actually delivered. As aging airliners are taken out of service, the number of available flights each day would plummet, causing prices to spike further and wait times at airports to grow exponentially. Even with all of the company's suspected flaws, the world needs Boeing. There's just no getting around that reality, at least until somebody perfects some sort of teleportation device.

Advertisement

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
David Strom 3:20 PM | May 24, 2024
Advertisement