The FOI Request That Could End Eric Schneiderman’s Career

  • Date: 04/12/16
  • Editorial, New York Post

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s witch hunt against supposed “climate-science deniers” became an even more embarrassing debacle late last month — and just might wind up ending his career.

A state judge ruled in favor of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank whose Freedom of Information request the AG had denied. That gave Schneiderman 30 days to cough up documents concerning his agreements with other states’ AGs, and with a group of green activists, about their joint persecution of ExxonMobile and other entities for supposed “climate fraud.”

CEI had been targeted by one of Schneiderman’s co-conspirators, the Virgin Islands AG, with legal demands that plainly aimed at suppressing free speech and scientific inquiry that the nonprofit sponsors.

The think tank’s lawyers believe the documents could show improper conduct by the AGs. If they do, Schneiderman faces serious trouble.

Oh, and New York taxpayers are out some more cash over the AG’s bid to dodge the Freedom of Information Law: The court ordered Schneiderman to cover CEI’s court costs, because his defense of his denial of the FOIL request was so transparently lame. (His brief merely quoted New York law, without even making any argument as to why it applied in this case.)

It all began in March, at a press conference where Schneiderman and 16 other AGs seemed to join Al Gore to announce joint operations against Exxon. In fact, more of the AGs were never on board — they’d shown up for a far less ambitious announcement.

And both of the two AGs who did mean to work with Schneiderman have now backed out, with the Virgin Islands AG completely abandoning his suits and the Massachusetts AG “suspending” her work until further notice.

Schneiderman, meanwhile, has dropped his initial claims that Exxon covered up scientific findings. He had to: The evidence is clear that for decades the company’s been publishing scientific results that fit neatly into the mainstream.

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