>Attorney General Eric Holder said last Thursday that the Justice Department's criminal investigation into the Gulf oil disaster may cast a much wider net than just BP. "There are a variety of entities and a variety of people who are the subjects of that investigation," Holder said in an interview with CBS's Bob Schieffer, "For people to conclude that BP is the focus of this investigation might not be correct." The investigation, he said, is "ongoing," and he hinted it may extend beyond just the companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon. There's a "certain commonality of the way oil companies had been operating" in the Gulf," he noted.
Possible investigations into the other oil companies notwithstanding, here's what we know about the possible targets of the DOJ probe:
BP: Operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig. In the weeks since the explosion, much has come to light about what may have led to the disaster--reports of ignored warning signs, cut corners, and neglected procedures. Other oil giants have thrown BP under the bus, arguing that the company violated all kinds of industry standards. BP has said it will cover all "legitimate claims" related to the spill and put up $20 billion for an escrow fund, but has also tried to deflect blame to its partners in the Deepwater operation.