Schneiderman Presses Search for Tillerson Lost Exxon Emails

  • New York AG questions witnesses about ‘Wayne Tracker’ Emails
  • Exxon trying to derail climate change investigation with suit

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Photographer: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is pressing on with a search for U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s lost emails that he wrote under the pseudonym of “Wayne Tracker” while he was the Chief Executive of Exxon Mobile Corp.

Schneiderman said on Friday that his office issued new subpoenas and questioned witnesses about the disappearance of the emails, in which Tillerson allegedly discussed climate change risks and other sensitive issues. Exxon has admitted that as much as a year’s worth of emails Tillerson wrote under the Wayne Tracker handle may have been lost. It blamed a technical glitch.

Tillerson used the pseudonym account to communicate with company board members, according to Schneiderman, who is investigating whether the Irving, Texas-based company broke state law by misleading investors for years about the possible impact of the Earth’s warming on its business. Schneiderman’s Massachusetts counterpart Maura Healey is running a parallel investigation.

Exxon has been trying without success to upend the probes through a lawsuit in federal court in Texas -- an effort backed by House Republicans. That suit was transferred to federal court in New York in March.

Exxon’s lawsuit is improperly impeding the state’s investigation, and the company has shown no injury qualifying it for intervention by a federal court, Schneiderman said in a request Friday to a New York judge to throw it out. Healey also urged the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Exxon is responding to the New York attorney general’s investigation in good faith, Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for the company, said in an email. Exxon will continue to challenge the legality of the investigations, he said.

Exxon’s suit is "part of its continued campaign of delay and distraction, and the New York attorney general said he will continue to pursue its own investigation of Exxon,” Amy Spitalnick, Schneiderman’s spokeswoman, said on Friday.

"We have and will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to get to the bottom of these issues, and to further our investigation,” she said.

The case is Exxon Mobile Corp. v. Schneiderman, 17-cv-02301, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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