On May 3, 2016, The Washington Times reported on an unredacted version of the subpoena of Exxon Mobil from U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) received a related subpoena from AG Walker on April 7, 2016.
The paper reports, “The Exxon Mobil subpoena seeks communications with a veritable who’s who of conservative and free-market organizations, including the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Heartland Institute, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, FreedomWorks and the Media Research Center. The subpoena also lists pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Oil and Gas Association.”
CEI’s General Counsel Sam Kazman responded:
“The attack on First Amendment rights by U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Walker, Al Gore, and a coalition of attorneys general, is clearly political targeting aimed at stifling free speech and intimidating policy groups and private individuals who disagree with them. CEI is vigorously fighting these attacks on our rights, and the rights of all Americans who are protected by the Constitution and the First Amendment. Exxon’s subpoena reveals an astounding number of organizations and individuals targeted by these AGs, which further proves it is not only CEI’s First Amendment rights at risk, but anyone who holds different opinions than these government officials, whether that is on climate change or any other issue.”
In CEI’s subpoena, AG Walker effectively asks for all CEI communications on climate change and energy policy from 1997 through 2007, including private donor information. If we are forced to hand this information over, then these private individuals—our donors—would lose the confidentiality they are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution and according to Supreme Court rulings.
For more information visit https://cei.org/climatesubpoena.