The addition of the FBI to the investigation in Flint, Michigan means that the water crisis is now a criminal investigation rather than just a civil matter.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is launching its own criminal investigation into the lead contamination of Flint’s water, and into what and who was behind the extended coverup by elected officials.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, Gina Balaya, told reporters that federal prosecutors are currently:
“…working with a multi-agency investigation team on the Flint water contamination matter, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, EPA’s Office of Inspector General, and EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.”
The announcement comes shortly before the U.S. House Oversight Committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing into the Flint water crisis next Wednesday. According to recent reports, Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley, who made the decision to change the source of Flint’s water supply from lake Huron to the lead contaminated Flint River in order to temporarily cut costs, will very likely invoke his right against self-incrimination and decline to testify.
Michigan’s GOP governor, Rick Snyder, has not been invited by the Republican-led House committee to the upcoming hearing to testify. Snyder will, however certainly be a target of the FBI’s criminal investigation. More than half a million people have signed Flint native Michael Moore‘s petition for Snyder’s immediate resignation and arrest.