The fallout of the BP oil rig explosion may already be on display all over the Gulf Coast, but it could soon be on its way to washing up in the courtroom. Federal prosecutors and investigators have taken initial steps toward a full-scale criminal investigation of BP. For the last three weeks, they have been accumulating evidence in Louisiana, trying to determine whether BP deliberately ignored federal safety regulations and lied to the U.S. government. The White House has already asked to set aside $10 million for the investigation—“to hold BP, and other responsible parties in this spill, accountable for the crisis,” according to a letter from President Obama to Nancy Pelosi requesting the funding. Oil company executives say they have been cooperating with investigators.