Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas reissued a subpoena Thursday for communications between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office and a host of environmental activists and federal agencies on the subject of climate change.
The move renews a showdown between the two politicians over congressional authority and what Schneiderman’s office views as retribution for its continued pursuit of a fraud investigation into energy giant ExxonMobil.
Smith began demanding access to communications from the A.G.’s office in May of last year, saying that he sought evidence of coordination to “stifle scientific discourse, intimidate private entities and individuals, and deprive them of their First Amendment rights and freedoms.”
The move has been seen as response to an investigation into whether ExxonMobil defrauded investors by keeping climate change research hidden. Schneiderman’s office has remained defiant in the face of Smith’s subpoenas, but with Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House and the control of Congress firmly in the hands of Republicans, Smith’s move doubles-down on efforts to force Schneiderman to comply.