The New York Post obtained emails showing Schneiderman reaching out to former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer in March — about four months after Schneiderman began investigating ExxonMobil for allegedly misleading investors about the risks of global warming.
Steyer, a major funder of environmental causes and an Exxon critic, spent more than $73 million in the 2014 election cycle supporting Democratic candidates and opposing Republicans.
Schneiderman also wanted to talk to Steyer about his ongoing Exxon investigation, which is being pushed by environmentalists who want to see the company punished like the tobacco industry.State Republican Chairman Edward Cox called for an investigation of Schneiderman for using his office for improper political gain:
Another day, and more evidence Eric Schneiderman is using the Office of the Attorney General for political purposes. Just last week we learned he is allowing his close ally Hillary Clinton to subvert New York charity laws by refusing her to disclose the Foundation's foreign donors, and now we learn he sought to leverage his investigation of ExxonMobil to secure support from billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer in his potential run for higher office.
Mr. Schneiderman has established a long and disturbing pattern of abusing the power of his office for political gain. Both of these cases indicate sufficient evidence to warrant an independent investigation by US Attorney Preet Bharara. Mr. Schneiderman must also comply with a subpoena issued by the U.S. House Science Committee requesting information about his ExxonMobil investigations amid allegations that the investigation is politically motivated. To date, he has chosen to defy the subpoena, leaving many troubling questions unanswered. As the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the state, the Attorney General must be above politics and until this matter is investigated by an independent body, there will be an indelible stain on the office.In addition to the troubling free speech implications of General Schneiderman's investigation of climate change deniers, he may be using government power to advance his political career and court wealthy donors. "Disturbing" indeed.