A federal court judge will allow the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation to take testimony from additional Interior Department officials, and has ordered the department and a high-powered Washington lobbyist to release documents that may shed light on the tribe’s claim that the decision to reverse its federal acknowledgement was politically influenced.
In a ruling on March 20, U.S. District Court Senior Judge Peter Dorsey granted the tribe’s request to take testimony, or depositions, from David Bernhardt, Interior’s current solicitor who was deputy chief of staff to former Interior Secretary Gale Norton during Connecticut’s appeal of the tribe’s federal recognition, and from Lee Fleming, director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgement. Both men were involved in the decision-making process that ended in the repeal of the tribe’s acknowledgement, court records say. Dorsey denied a request to take testimony from Interior Solicitor Barbara Coen.
Click here to continue reading this report on The Corner Report.