Blankenship vs. Trump Jr

Charleston, WV — A federal trial over whether Donald Trump Jr. intentionally sabotaged the Senate campaign of former coal operator Don Blankenship by calling him a felon is set for one year from now. U.S. Judge John Copenhaver released an order that includes a 9:30 a.m. start for an Oct. 6, 2020, trial. It is possible, of course, that the matter could be dismissed, settled or delayed. The lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia is of note because of the names involved. Don Blankenship, the former Massey Energy chief who was tried in 2015 on three federal charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and making false statements. He was not tried for directly causing the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 workers, but the charges were prompted by the disaster. Blankenship was found guilty of conspiring to willfully violate safety standards, a misdemeanor. He spent a year in jail and then announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate. The other name in the suit is Donald Trump Jr., the son of the president of the United States and executive vice president of the Trump Organization. He has been active with his father’s political campaign. Blankenship and Donald Trump Jr. are at odds in federal court because of tweets the president’s son sent out to his 3.8 million followers. Just a few days before the May 8, 2018, West Virginia primary, Trump Jr. called on West Virginia voters to reject Blankenship’s candidacy.