In 1993, Biden's nominee to head up BLM, Tracy Stone-Manning, was given legal immunity for her testimony that she retyped and sent an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, her former roommate and friend, those documents show.
The letter informed the Forest Service that 500 pounds of "spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches in length" had been jammed into the trees of an Idaho forest.
"The sales were marked so that no workers would be injured and so that you a--holes know that they are spiked," read the letter. "The majority of the trees were spiked within the first ten feet, but many, many others were spiked as high as a hundred and fifty feet."
"P.S., You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people could get hurt," the note summed.
Tree spiking is a dangerous and rough eco-terrorism tactic where metal rods are injected into trees to stop them from being cut down. The metal rods damage saws that, in turn, have seriously damaged people, such as a mill worker whose jaw was split in two from an exploding saw.
Stone-Manning admitted to mailing the letter for Blount in 1989 after getting the letter from him yet said she was unaware the spiking had happened until reading it.
The nominee testified that she was "somewhat shocked" by the letter though rented a typewriter regardless and retyped the letter "pretty much word-for-word." Stone-Manning stated she slept on the concept of mailing the letter and followed through the next day.
Blount was sentenced to 17 months in jail after being convicted of spiking the trees in Idaho.
In her questionnaire to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Stone-Manning announced she had never "been the target" of a federal, state or local criminal probe.
She did touch on her testimony, though, stating she had given it "as part of an investigation into an alleged tree spiking incident related to a timber sale." Stone-Manning failed to mention that she told the press in 1993 she could have been charged with conspiracy if not for her testimony deal.
Stone-Manning likewise did not mention being summoned for handwriting and hair samples by a federal grand jury in 1989.
An administration source who was briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak on the record explained that Stone-Manning has been candid regarding her testimony and that she does not condone actions that could harm others.