There are times, times dear readers where something speaks so well for itself that Eli practically has nothing to add. Today Eric Schneiderman slammed the ball back into Lamarr Smith's court. Schneiderman is the New York State Attorney General, Smith the Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Smith has been feebling in defense of Exxon, and subpoenaed Schneiderman for all and everything that the NY Att. Gen had on Exxon.
Schneiderman was amused
The Subpoena is an unprecedented effort to target ongoing state law enforcement “investigation[s] or potential prosecution[s].” If enforced, the Subpoena will have the obvious consequence of interfering with the NYOAG’s investigation into whether ExxonMobil made false or misleading statements in violation of New York’s business, consumer, and securities fraud laws. Although the Committee purports to be acting out of First Amendment concerns, those concerns cannot be anything but pretense as “the First Amendment does not shield fraud.”Good faith, you want good faith, well the NY Att Gen is willing to play
The Subpoena brings us one step closer to a protracted, unnecessary legal confrontation, which will only distract and detract from the work of our respective offices. Accordingly, we continue to hope that the Committee Staff will be in touch, as they said they would be, to schedule a time to speak, with minority participation, about the Committee’s requests. While the NYOAG will not allow a Congressional investigation to impede the sovereign interests of the State of New York, this Office remains willing to explore whether the Committee has any legitimate legislative purpose in the requested materials that could be accommodated without impeding those sovereign interests. Unfortunately, our attempts to initiate such a discussion—by telephone call to Committee Staff and in our written response to you on July 13—were met with a subpoena.Oh yes, the states rights thing that the Republicans love tastes just loverly. .
The Committee’s demand for documents and communications from the office of a duly elected State Attorney General regarding an ongoing investigation of potential state law violations raises grave federalism concerns.And oh yes, WTF are you talking about
These problems are compounded by the inability to ascertain the subject under inquiry (due in part to the Chair’s and certain members’ vague and shifting statements), how the Subpoena’s requests are pertinent to that subject, or even the Committee’s source of authority for the putative investigation. See Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 214–15 (1957).much detailed legal follows but the conclusion is a straight out FU
While the Committee considers these objections the NYOAG will continue to explore whether the Committee has any legitemate legislative purpose in the requested materials that could be provided without impairing the sovereign interests of the State of New York. We look forward to the opportunity of being heard by the Committee as a whole on these objections.Oh yes, those interested in tossing Smith a further boat anchor can contribute to Smiths Democratic opponent, Tom Wakely.