With charge re-instated, judge prepares to set trial date for ex-BP executive in spill probe


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NEW ORLEANS — A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt has scheduled an Aug. 11 conference where lawyers will discuss a trial date in the case of David Rainey.

The move follows a recent appeals court decision that Rainey can be tried on the obstruction charge. Prosecutors allege that Rainey — during a May 4, 2010, congressional briefing — failed to disclose information about the estimated rate that oil was spewing from BP's blown-out well after a rig explosion.

They also claim Rainey responded to a letter from a subcommittee chairman with false and misleading information. Rainey has pleaded not guilty.

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