Almost two years after Gibson Guitars was raided for violating an obscure law, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R–TN) is demanding a full explanation:
The recent scandals surrounding this administration raise a number of questions about who they choose to target and why. The arrogance and lack of transparency displayed by this President and his cabinet officials in events such as the raids on Gibson Guitar and the IRS targeting of conservative groups show a complete disregard for the rule of law.
In 2011, Gibson’s Tennessee factories were raided for allegedly violating the Lacey Act, a federal statute that makes it a crime to import tropical hardwoods in violation of foreign law.
Imagine 30 heavily armed federal officers storming into your business, seizing your goods and providing no reason why. A nightmare for any business—and a reality for Gibson Guitars.
“Our business has been injured to the tune of millions of dollars,” Gibson chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz told Heritage in 2011 after $1 million of ebony, rosewood, and finished guitars from the factories were seized.
In September 2011, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee requested answers from the Departments of Justice and Interior, but the Obama Administration responded with no real information about the raid itself.
Last August, Gibson Guitars ultimately settled on a $300,000 penalty and donated $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation because “the alternative was pretty onerous,” Juszkiewicz told The New York Times.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s no surprise Blackburn is revisiting the Gibson raids in an effort to keep President Obama accountable. With recent scandals surrounding the administration, a series of excessive government overreach has been unveiled. Let’s hope this time the President has some answers.