In Rare Move, Criminal Federal Prosecutor Probes Boeing 737 MAX Development

Forensic experts work at the crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines operated Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in which their relatives perished among the 157 passengers and crew onboard, at Hama Quntushele village, near Bisho... Forensic experts work at the crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines operated Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in which their relatives perished among the 157 passengers and crew onboard, at Hama Quntushele village, near Bishoftu, in Oromia region, on March 15, 2019. - A French investigation into the March 10 Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crash that killed 157 passengers and crew opened on March 15 as US aerospace giant Boeing stopped delivering the top-selling aircraft. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP) (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A subpoena issued March 11 was sent to at least one person involved in the Boeing 737 MAX jetliner’s development and is signed by a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s criminal division, according to a Sunday Wall Street Journal report.

The subpoena is reportedly seeking documents, including emails and other correspondence, related to the aircraft’s development.

As the Journal points out, it is rare in the United States for federal prosecutors to use a criminal probe to investigate the regulatory approval process of a commercial aircraft, and to look into the relationship between the Federal Aviation Administration and the planes it oversees in general. Investigations like this are reportedly usually handled as civil cases by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general.

The scrutiny comes amid two well-publicized crashes that grounded the 737 in many countries.

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  1. Let’s go back to Rachel’s show on this last week. In fact, she may have something on it tonite.

  2. Can’t wait for Drumpfy to turn this into PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!! You know he’s going to if it gets anywhere near him or the Cabinet.

  3. On NPR this morning they revealed that the FAA allowed Boeing engineers to sign off on their own safety checks. What could possibly go wrong , I mean coal companies vet their own safety and environmental concerns
    “The FAA has let technical experts at aircraft makers act as its representatives to perform certain tests and approve some parts for decades. The FAA expanded the scope of that program in 2005 to address concerns about adequately keeping pace with its workload. Known as Organization Designation Authorization, or ODA, it let Boeing and other manufacturers choose the employees who approve design work on the agency’s behalf.”

  4. Well, all those folks that wanted tax cuts, those cuts have to come from somewhere…

  5. In all my working years, it never occurred to me that the way to address my workload was simply not to do my job. What an idiot I was!

    ETA: This reminds me of an old favorite:

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