Attorney General Ken Paxton will hold a press conference Monday to discuss the state's request to put an end to an investigation launched against ExxonMobil by the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In a statement released by Paxton's office Monday, he is joining the state of Alabama in "asking a state judge to end a ridiculous investigation launched against ExxonMobil by Claude Earl Walker, Attorney General for the Virgin Islands."
According to the AG's office, Walker alleges ExxonMobil engaged in racketeering due to its stated position on climate change.
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Walker and a Washington, D.C.-based law firm issued a subpoena for more than four decades' worth of Exxon records, Paxton said.
"This case is about abusing the power of the subpoena to force Exxon to turn over many decades' worth of records, so an attorney general with an agenda can pore over them in hopes of finding something incriminating," said Paxton. "It's a fishing expedition of the worst kind, and represents an effort to punish Exxon for daring to hold an opinion on climate change that differs from that of radical environmentalists."
Paxton said he's concerned the action taken by the Virgin Islands could challenge the first amendment and set a precedent that anyone an be criminally investigated because of their opinions.