In reading the news about the Scooter Libby prosecution, I wondered if professionals in the corporate environmental, health, and safety field were thinking about the conviction's relevance. What is relevant to the EHS professionals is that federal governmental agencies are using more and more the federal Criminal Code provisions and other federal statutes that contain criminal provisions for making false statements to governmental prosecutors and obstructing justice as a weapon against those they believe are violating federal substantive statutes. (See Little Known Provision in the Federal Criminal Code Creates Trap for Those Communicating with Government Agencies post in this blog.)
Companies and their employees communicating with governmental agencies with environmental and safety jurisdiction should take care in making statements and providing documents to these agences. They should attempt to avoid claims that any false statements were made or any obstruction of the investigative process occurred.