The Lance Armstrong doping case is yet to be fully resolved as it has taken a detour for Landis to pursue a confrontation with the Trump administration. In the latest development to the ongoing issue, Landis is challenging the legitimacy of the acting U.S. attorney general, Matthew Whitaker.
The challenge relates to a settlement in the fraud civil suit filed by Landis against Armstrong in 2010. Most of that case ended earlier this year, but part of the settlement still remained as pending when President Donald Trump appointed Whitaker to replace Jeff Sessions on November 7.
After documents were signed to put the matter to bed last week, Landis now is questioning the validity of an agreement reached with the government because it required consent from the Justice Department under Whitaker. The legal question being whether Whitaker, who was a Presidential appointee not ratified by the Senate, was able to represent the Attorney-General's department.
Landis' attorney, Paul Scott, talked to USA Today about the case that Landis is bringing.
“Though this motion may potentially go against his financial interests, Floyd is basically just trying to do the right thing here,” 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.”
“It would definitely have been simpler and less expensive to just stay quiet and wait for payment,” Scott concluded.
Landis had already collected the majority of his claim against Armstrong, with the former teammate paying out $US6.65 million in damages, with $US2.75m owed to Landis, with the rest owed to the US government, who joined the suit on behalf of then sponsors, US Postal.
The government also pursued damages from Johan Bruyneel and Tailwind Sports, with Landis claiming that he was owed a percentage as the whistleblower that brought the case. He was granted 10 per cent by the government, with documents to be signed off on recently, guaranteeing Landis up to $US122,760 if money can be recovered from an overseas Bruyneel.
That agreement is now in jeopardy, with Landis joining a Democrat push calling into question the legitimacy of Trump's Attorney General appointee.