October 25, 2018
Chevron Feeling “Heat” From Asset Seizure Action In Canada As Company Lawyers Try to Pressure Witnesses Based On False Evidence
In a stunning confession, a Boston-area financial manager and mother of four who raised funds for Amazon Indigenous peoples has admitted under oath that Chevron lawyers successfully intimidated her to sign an affidavit with false statements designed by the oil giant to undermine its $9.5 billion Ecuador pollution liability.
Chevron’s pressure tactics were directed against Katie Sullivan, a business owner who had spent months successfully assisting Ecuadorian Indigenous and farmer villagers raise funds to challenge the oil giant. They also come at a time when the company is under enormous pressure in Canada as the Ecuadorian villagers try to seize critical company assets, an effort backed by the nation’s largest Indigenous federation (Assembly of First Nations) which represents 653 tribes. In addition, 36 institutional Chevron shareholders in the U.S. recently challenged CEO Michael Wirth over his mishandling of the Ecuador litigation.
Sullivan, whose owns a company called Streamline Family Office that manages assets for wealthy families, testified in a sworn deposition on September 28 that she lived in “fear” from Chevron before signing an affidavit written entirely by company lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm who have been directed by Wirth to retaliate against the Ecuadorians and their legal advisors, primarily Harvard Law graduate and New York human rights advocate Steven R. Donziger. Chevron has used false testimony, witness bribery, and fraudulent evidence to try to taint Donziger and other lawyers for the Ecuadorians, according to evidence summarized in a criminal referral letter against the company submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Donziger said Chevron subpoenaed Sullivan last March for documents as part of its long-running campaign to seek “dirt” on him and supporters for the Indigenous peoples. Chevron then forced Sullivan to sit for two sworn depositions. It was during the second of these that she admitted under questioning from Donziger that Chevron lawyers pressured her to sign off on several false statements, all an apparent violation of ethics rules governing attorney conduct.
In her sworn testimony on Sept. 28, Sullivan made the following admissions under oath:
**That Chevron lawyers Robert Blume and Anne Champion were part of a team from the Gibson Dunn law firm that wrote the entirety of her 23-page affidavit.
**That Chevron lawyers failed to incorporate several of her requested changes to the affidavit before she signed it under pressure just minutes before the start of her second deposition while “praying” the company’s litigation against her would end.
**That her affidavit contained multiple misleading or false statements written by Chevron lawyers intended to taint Donziger for which she possessed no knowledge, and which were demonstrably false.