Senate Dems seek criminal probe of BP

A group of Senate Democrats is pressing the Obama administration to escalate its probe of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill by launching a criminal investigation of BP.

Eight members of the Environment and Public Works Committee in a letter Monday to Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderMichael Moore touts Ellison for DNC chair: ‘We need fresh blood’ How the candidates for DNC chair stack up ahead of Saturday's vote House Dem calls out Uber over sexism allegations MORE asked him to explore whether BP made “false and misleading statements to the federal government regarding its ability to respond to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The letter points to an exploration plan that BP provided Interior Department regulators in February of 2009 that addresses the company’s ability to respond to a spill.

The document, according to the letter, said a well blowout resulting in a spill would be “unlikely to have an impact based on the industry wide standards for using proven equipment and technology for such responses, implementation of BP’s Regional Oil Spill Response Plan which address available equipment and personnel, techniques for containment and recovery and removal of the oil spill.”

The lawmakers say the ongoing Gulf spill shows the BP document was not accurate.

“In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it does not in any way appear that there was ‘proven equipment and technology’ to respond to the spill, which could have tragic consequences for local economies and the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico,” states the letter to Holder from Committee Chairwoman Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerCarly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report 
Democrats vie for chance to take on Trump as California governor MORE (D-Calif.).

The letter urges Holder to explore possible violations of both civil and criminal laws. Other senators that signed the letter are: Ben CardinBen CardinDem senator: Don't let leaks distract from real issue of Russian interference Washington-area lawmakers request GAO report on DC Metro Warren wants briefing on probe into Trump ally MORE (D-Md.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders, not Trump, is the real working-class hero Dem senator predicts Gorsuch will be confirmed A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (D-N.Y.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersI will leave the Democrats if Keith Ellison is elected its chairman The Hill's 12:30 Report Trump tells conservatives he is future of GOP MORE (I-Vt.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenators ask feds for ‘full account’ of work to secure election from cyber threats Sanders, not Trump, is the real working-class hero A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (D-Minn.), Tom CarperTom CarperA guide to the committees: Senate Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick Warren: Trump's EPA pick the 'attorney general for Exxon' MORE (D-Del.), and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyPoll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick MORE (D-Ore.)

The committee is holding a hearing Tuesday about the oil spill.