By Andrew Restuccia
A lawyer representing the Competitive Enterprise Institute today formally objected to a subpoena from U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker that demands a decade’s worth of internal documents related to climate change.
“Your demand on CEI is offensive, it is un-American, it is unlawful, and it will not stand,” Andrew Grossman, a BakerHostetler lawyer representing CEI, said in a letter to Walker. “You can either withdraw it or expect to fight, because CEI strongly believes that this campaign to intimidate those who dissent from the official orthodoxy on climate change must be stopped.”
In a corresponding eight-pageobjection requesting that the D.C. Superior Court immediately withdraw the subpoena, Grossman argues that the subpoena violates CEI’s First Amendment privilege because it “constitutes an attempt to silence and intimidate, as well as retaliate against, speech espousing a particular viewpoint with which the Attorney General disagrees … ”
The objection continues, “The subpoena is invalid because the underlying investigation is pretextual, is being undertaken in bad faith, is intended as a fishing expedition, and is in support of an investigation of charges that have no likelihood of success.”
Grossman also calls the subpoena unduly burdensome and vague, while adding that the statutes of limitations have already expired under the racketeering law cited by Walker.
Walker issued the subpoena earlier this month as part of his ongoing investigation into whether ExxonMobil misled the public about what it knew about the threat of climate change.