A free market legal group will argue before the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division that the state must turn over emails from former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s personal account, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Schneiderman used his personal email account to discuss official business with environmental activists and therefore should be made public, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC) will argue before the court on Thursday.
Schneiderman’s resignation dealt a blow to environmental activists’ efforts to punish ExxonMobil for allegedly trying to cover up global warming science, but E&E Legal still wants his emails to be released.
If the court rules in FMELC’s favor, it could force Schneiderman to let his former employer search his personal emails for correspondence with environmental activists regarding his investigation into Exxon.
Schneiderman resigned in May after The New Yorker reported he physically abused four women, including choking a woman on the floor after slapping her. The news came as a shock to many liberals who looked to Schneiderman as a leading figure of the “resistance” against the Trump administration.
Before that, Schneiderman worked with environmental activists to launch an investigation into ExxonMobil’s alleged cover-up of man-made global warming science. Schneiderman launched his investigation in late 2015.
At least two attorneys general also sued Exxon for documents on its past global warming research, which eventually was extended to dozens of conservative groups and scientists that oppose climate regulations.
E&E Legal quickly found that Schneiderman had consulted behind the scenes with activists and environmental attorneys. Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request in 2016 for Schneiderman’s public and private emails related to the Exxon investigation.
The Office of the Attorney General denied the request, so FMELC and E&E Legal filed suit in June 2017. Included in their suit was evidence Schneiderman used a non-official email account to conduct official business. Only FMELC, not E&E Legal, is appealing the case to the New York Supreme Court.
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