Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is the legislator to watch as the Senate prepares to vote on President Biden’s embattled nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tracy Stone-Manning.
Stone-Manning has come under major scrutiny after it was revealed she traded court testimony for legal immunity in a case regarding a 1989 tree-spiking plot in Idaho, but Manchin – a key vote in the Senate – has been silent on her nomination
The senator’s office did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on how Manchin plans to vote on Stone-Manning’s confirmation. A vote has not been scheduled but could happen as early as this week.
THINGS KEEP GETTING WORSE FOR BIDEN BLM NOMINEE TRACY STONE-MANNING
Stone-Manning’s nomination process revealed her involvement in a tree-spiking plot orchestrated by Earth First!, an ecoterrorist organization.
She testified in 1993, in exchange for immunity, that she retyped and sent an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, her former roommate and friend. The letter told the Forest Service that 500 pounds of “spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches in length” had been jammed into the trees of an Idaho forest.
Tree-spiking is a dangerous and violent ecoterrorism tactic where metal rods are inserted into trees to prevent them from being cut down. The metal rods damage saws that, in turn, have severely injured people, such as a mill worker whose jaw was split in two from an exploding saw.
MCCONNELL CALLS FOR BIDEN TO WITHDRAW NOMINEE LINKED TO ECO-TERRORIST PLOT
Support for the president’s nominee is dwindling left and right, with the Dallas Safari Club conservation group, as well as every single Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, calling on the president to pull her from consideration.
Stone-Manning has also been accused of lying on her written committee questionnaire, with her past statements on the case and the lead investigator contradicting her written answers.
“She told the committee she had never been the subject of an investigation and yet complained about being investigated in the press,” Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the committee, previously told Fox News.
In her written responses to follow-up questions from senators, which Fox News has reviewed, Stone-Manning said she had no “personal knowledge” of any tree-spiking plot in her lifetime.
But one of the two men convicted in the 1989 case told E&E News that Stone-Manning did, in fact, have foreknowledge of the plot. The other man convicted in the case, however, said she did not.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined his Senate GOP colleagues’ calls and demanded the president withdraw Stone-Manning from consideration.
“We now know that President Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Land Management lied to the Senate about her alleged participation in ecoterrorism,” McConnell said in a statement to Fox News last week. “The White House should immediately withdraw her nomination.”
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Biden’s BLM director nominee has called for population control to protect the environment in her graduate thesis and shared her husband’s report from 2018 that said people’s houses caught in forest fires should be left to “burn,” calling it a “Clarion call.”
The White House has stood by the nominee, with a spokesperson telling Fox News last week that she is “exceptionally qualified.”
Fox News’ Peter Hasson contributed reporting.