CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The head of the International Monetary Fund. A U.S. senator. A White House chief of staff. A Salt Lake City Olympics committee president. A securities firm. A New York Stock Exchange chairman. An Internal Revenue Service official. A former Wal-Mart vice chairman. A former Fannie Mae official. And pop artist Janet Jackson.
Those are just some of the clients of the attorneys who are representing former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.
Blankenship’s lawyers have successfully defended against charges ranging from perjury, conspiracy and wire fraud to tax evasion, sexual assault and prosecutorial misconduct.
With federal prosecutors prepared to rest their case against Blankenship — who has been charged with conspiring to violate mine safety standards, thwart federal inspections and lying to securities regulators, as well as committing stock fraud — the trial now turns to the defense team, which is expected to call its first witness as early as today.
Each day, as he quietly sits at the defense table, Blankenship is surrounded by a group of high-profile and even higher-priced lawyers…