President Joe Biden has faced serious criticism for his nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Burau of Land Management.
Now, one Biden administration insider is reportedly calling the decision a “massive vetting failure.”
“Important addition to the team”
Stone-Manning, who was implicated in an eco-terrorism plot, has received widespread pushback as the BLM chief nominee, and NBC News correspondent Josh Lederman revealed that federal officials are feeling the heat.
“A Biden administration official described this to me as a massive vetting failure by the White House to allow this nominee to go forward despite knowing the headache it would create, while Biden still has so many key vacancies across his administration to fill that are so critical to carrying out his agenda,” Lederman reported.
Nevertheless, he said that his sources indicated the Biden administration continues to stand behind the nominee.
In fact, an Interior Department spokesperson reportedly told Lederman that Stone-Manning would be an “important addition to the team.”
An incident that took place more than 30 years ago, however, continues to linger over the nominee.
A controversial past
In 1989, Stone-Manning reportedly mailed a letter to the U.S. Forest Service warning the agency that trees in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest that had been scheduled to be cut down were rigged with metal and nails embedded under the bark that could cause injury or death to lumberjacks or mill workers.
About two years later, Stone-Manning’s purported letter-writing role was revealed and she accepted a plea agreement for immunity in exchange for her testimony against suspect John P. Blount.
She has also come under attack for a thesis paper she wrote while enrolled at the University of Montana in which she is said to have advocated for population control in order to save the environment. Just over a year ago, Stone-Manning reportedly asked the school to limit access to that paper.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has already conducted its confirmation hearing for the nominee but has not yet scheduled a vote to approve or disapprove.
That panel might be holding out on its judgment to see how the ongoing saga surrounding Stone-Manning’s past is going to play out.