Landis takes on Trump administration as whistleblower suit drags on
It seemed like the dust had settled in Floyd Landis’s whistleblower lawsuit. But it hasn’t.
Landis had reached a settlement agreement with Lance Armstrong. He pledged to use the money from the case to start a Continental team. But now, the case has taken an unexpected twist as Landis has challenged the Trump administration’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.
USA Today reports that Landis is charging that Whitaker is not a legitimate acting head of the Justice Department, since he is not yet approved by the Senate. Part of Landis’s settlement is still pending, although it seemed to have been resolved last week. This settlement requires consent from the Justice Department and therefore Landis is questioning whether his case’s settlement is valid, since it was carried out under Whitaker’s watch.
Landis filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday to invalidate Whitaker’s role as acting attorney general.
“Though this motion may potentially go against his financial interests, Floyd is basically just trying to do the right thing here,” Landis’s attorney, Paul Scott, told USA Today. “The legitimacy of the [attorney general] happened to present itself in his case, so he decided to take a stand on the issue.”
Given that this additional motion requires more time in court, it is likely to add to Landis’s legal fees. It may also jeopardize payment of a portion of his settlement money, up to $122,870, according to USA Today.