Chevron’s landmark lawsuit exposes ‘greenmail’
...In a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday, one of the highest-profile environmental campaigns of recent decades is about to be exposed as nothing more than a fraud and extortion racket — “greenmail.”
Chevron is suing lawyer Steven Donziger and a number of activist environmental groups in a civil-racketeering suit, claiming that his landmark $19 billion award against the oil company in an Ecuadorean court was the product of a criminal conspiracy.
Ironically, much of the company’s evidence comes from footage shot for “Crude,” an award-winning pro-Donziger documentary that premiered with much publicity at the Sundance Film Festival....
...They show Donziger full of contempt for the country he says he cares about, openly boasting about how corrupt Ecuador’s judicial system is and planning to intimidate the judge because “the only language . . . this judge is going to understand is one of pressure, intimidation and humiliation.”
The filmmaker even recorded the lawyers lamenting that no pollution had spread from the original drilling sites and “right now all the reports are saying . . . nothing has spread anywhere at all” and how this lack of pollution was a serious problem.
But the footage also shows Donziger figuring he can brazen it out: “If we take our existing evidence on groundwater contamination, extrapolate based on nothing other than our . . . theory . . . then we can do it. And we can get money for it.”
Chevron will produce evidence that Donziger forged the signature of American experts on reports claiming widespread pollution — when these same experts had actually filed reports finding no such thing....