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AG Healey won’t comply with new subpoena

Boston, MA -- 1/31/2017 - Attorney General Maura Healey announces that her office is taking action challenging President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: 01healey Reporter:

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Attorney General Maura Healey.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office will not comply with a subpoena received Thursday from a congressional committee seeking documents in connection with her office’s investigation into Exxon Mobil Corp., Healey’s office said.

The records are being pursued by Congressman Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which also previously issued Healey a subpoena in July.

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Healey’s office on Thursday evening reiterated that it does not intend to comply and maintained that the House committee has no jurisdiction over the state investigations into the oil company that began last spring.

In April Healey along with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened a fraud investigation into Exxon about whether the company encouraged climate-change confusion for years after its own scientists established the risks.

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The committee is seeking documents from both Healey and Schneiderman.

“Our office does not intend to comply or yield to further harassment, and we join Ranking Member [Congresswoman Eddie Bernice] Johnson in urging the chairman to find something more productive to do,” said Chloe Gotsis, spokeswoman for Healey.

In response to Healey’s inquiry, Exxon has sued Healey’s office, saying her probe violates its free speech and other constitutional rights, and that comments she made about the investigation when it was filed demonstrate that she had judged the company guilty before even conducting an investigation. In its legal battle to shut down her investigation, Exxon Mobil demanded that Healey testify about her efforts and provide documents from her office. In January, Healey won a major victory when a Suffolk Superior Court judge ruled that the company must turn over 40 years of documents on climate change.

Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Laura Krantz can be reached at laura.krantz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.
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