House committee subpoenas state AGs trying to burn climate skeptics

Two state attorneys general have been subpoened by the House Science Committee because they refused to respond to requests for information on their efforts to prosecute climate skeptics.

New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman and Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, along with eight environmental groups who have been coordinating their efforts to intimidate skeptics, all received subpoenas.

Washington Times:

“The attorneys general have appointed themselves to decide what is valid and what is invalid regarding climate change,” Mr. Smith said at a press conference with other committee Republicans. “The attorneys general are pursuing a political agenda at the expense of scientists’ right to free speech.”

He was referring to a Democrat-led coalition of 17 attorneys general working with environmental groups to pursue fossil fuel companies, starting with ExxonMobil, as well as academics and free market think tanks, for possible fraud for challenging the catastrophic climate change narrative.

Those on the receiving end of the subpoenas disputed the committee’s jurisdiction over the state prosecutorial investigations. Both New York and Massachusetts have issued subpoenas as part of their probes.

Those on the receiving end of the subpoenas disputed the committee’s jurisdiction over the state prosecutorial investigations. Both New York and Massachusetts have issued subpoenas as part of their probes.

“This committee has no authority to interfere with these state law enforcement investigations, and whether they issue a subpoena or not, this attorney general will not be intimidated or deterred from ensuring that every New Yorker receives the full protection of state laws,” said Schneiderman spokesman Eric Soufer.

Mr. Scheiderman has argued that fraud is not protected by the First Amendment, drawing comparisons between Exxon and tobacco companies that tried to hide the extent of health problems stemming from smoking.

Union of Concerned Scientists President Ken Kimmell accused the committee of “harassment.”

“Chairman Smith’s subpoena is an abuse of power that goes way beyond the House Science Committee’s jurisdiction and amounts to nothing more than harassment,” Mr. Kimmell said in a statement. “By attempting to interfere with the attorneys general investigations, Chairman Smith directly undermines efforts to hold ExxonMobil accountable for misrepresenting climate science.”

He also said it is “plain wrong to investigate a nonprofit for doing its job,” although dozens of free market nonprofits have been named in subpoenas issued by the attorneys general.

In her April subpoena, Ms. Healey demanded communications between Exxon and a dozen free market nonprofit groups and universities.

If Congress won't protect the First Amendment rights of citizens, who will?  The A.G.s' argument doesn't have much merit when you consider that the reason for this witch hunt is to silence climate skeptics.  What they claim is the goal of the committee has already been implemented against skeptics by the A.G.s and other climate hysterics.

As far as enforcing the subpoenas. the committee has little leverage.  But they can vote a contempt citation if the A.G.s ignore the subpoena, which, at least, puts the A.G.s on record as defying Congress.  That might be beneficial in a suit that is sure to follow.

If the A.G.s are successful, you can expect a host of actions by Democrat A.G.s to criminalize political opposition.  And with a liberal Supreme Court waiting in the wings if Clinton wins in November, the damage to the First Amendment will be irreperable.

Two state attorneys general have been subpoened by the House Science Committee because they refused to respond to requests for information on their efforts to prosecute climate skeptics.

New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman and Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, along with eight environmental groups who have been coordinating their efforts to intimidate skeptics, all received subpoenas.

Washington Times:

“The attorneys general have appointed themselves to decide what is valid and what is invalid regarding climate change,” Mr. Smith said at a press conference with other committee Republicans. “The attorneys general are pursuing a political agenda at the expense of scientists’ right to free speech.”

He was referring to a Democrat-led coalition of 17 attorneys general working with environmental groups to pursue fossil fuel companies, starting with ExxonMobil, as well as academics and free market think tanks, for possible fraud for challenging the catastrophic climate change narrative.

Those on the receiving end of the subpoenas disputed the committee’s jurisdiction over the state prosecutorial investigations. Both New York and Massachusetts have issued subpoenas as part of their probes.

Those on the receiving end of the subpoenas disputed the committee’s jurisdiction over the state prosecutorial investigations. Both New York and Massachusetts have issued subpoenas as part of their probes.

“This committee has no authority to interfere with these state law enforcement investigations, and whether they issue a subpoena or not, this attorney general will not be intimidated or deterred from ensuring that every New Yorker receives the full protection of state laws,” said Schneiderman spokesman Eric Soufer.

Mr. Scheiderman has argued that fraud is not protected by the First Amendment, drawing comparisons between Exxon and tobacco companies that tried to hide the extent of health problems stemming from smoking.

Union of Concerned Scientists President Ken Kimmell accused the committee of “harassment.”

“Chairman Smith’s subpoena is an abuse of power that goes way beyond the House Science Committee’s jurisdiction and amounts to nothing more than harassment,” Mr. Kimmell said in a statement. “By attempting to interfere with the attorneys general investigations, Chairman Smith directly undermines efforts to hold ExxonMobil accountable for misrepresenting climate science.”

He also said it is “plain wrong to investigate a nonprofit for doing its job,” although dozens of free market nonprofits have been named in subpoenas issued by the attorneys general.

In her April subpoena, Ms. Healey demanded communications between Exxon and a dozen free market nonprofit groups and universities.

If Congress won't protect the First Amendment rights of citizens, who will?  The A.G.s' argument doesn't have much merit when you consider that the reason for this witch hunt is to silence climate skeptics.  What they claim is the goal of the committee has already been implemented against skeptics by the A.G.s and other climate hysterics.

As far as enforcing the subpoenas. the committee has little leverage.  But they can vote a contempt citation if the A.G.s ignore the subpoena, which, at least, puts the A.G.s on record as defying Congress.  That might be beneficial in a suit that is sure to follow.

If the A.G.s are successful, you can expect a host of actions by Democrat A.G.s to criminalize political opposition.  And with a liberal Supreme Court waiting in the wings if Clinton wins in November, the damage to the First Amendment will be irreperable.