ExxonMobil Fires Back at Massachusetts AG With Its Own Lawsuit

December 5, 2016 AT 12:15 PM

When Attorney General Maura Healey and other Massachusetts law enforcement officials announced last spring that they were pursuing fraud investigations against the world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil, former vice president Al Gore called it “the most hopeful step I can remember in a long time” to combat climate change.

“Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change should be, must be, held accountable,” Healey said at the time. “We can all see today the troubling disconnect between what Exxon knew, what industry folks knew, and what the company and industry chose to share with investors and with the American public.”

Now those words are being used against Healey, in a lawsuit filed by ExxonMobil. In a stunning offense-is-the-best-defense legal strategy, the company is trying to flip a politically loaded case on its head, saying the Massachusetts Democrat’s investigation violates their free speech and other constitutional rights, and that her comments demonstrate she had judged the company guilty before even conducting an investigation.

In its legal battle to shut down her investigation, ExxonMobil has demanded that she testify about her efforts and provide documents from her office — a fight that will play out this week in Suffolk Superior Court and next week in a Texas courtroom.

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