Philip Hamberger, Columbia University Law Professor:

“The threat to scientific inquiry and political speech is obvious…. But with the usurped subpoena power, he [Schneiderman] can engage in a roving investigation, unlimited by any formal accusation, and then can use the results to bring criminal charges. This is a dangerous amalgam of grand-jury and prosecutorial power in one person…. And as shown by Mr. Schneiderman, when attorneys general can issue such subpoenas, a valuable judicial power becomes a prosecutorial threat to liberty and due process.” (5/11/16)

Dennis Vacco, Former Attorney General of New York:

“I was proud to play a major role in holding tobacco companies responsible for the damage they caused and in setting America on a healthier path. We had a clear, convincing legal case and a noble cause. The same cannot be said for attorneys general involved in the current crusade…. The tobacco companies were deceivers. ExxonMobil has been open. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the politicized attorneys general pursuing the company. A chilling impact on public debate is not in our collective interest.” (7/14/16)

Harvey Silverglate, Civil Liberties Attorney and ACLU Member:

The Exxon investigation is “pure harassment….  It is outrageous for any law enforcement official to be seeking to win this battle for minds by flexing law enforcement muscle and trying to shut up the other side.” (6/16/16)

Tristan Brown, Attorney and State University of New York Assistant Professor:

“[T]he Democratic coalition is pursuing a dangerous means of achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Its unprecedented definition of fraud threatens to impose an undue and possibly unachievable regulatory burden on energy firms and their investors.”  (6/21/16)

Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal Columnist:

“What these liberal prosecutors really want is to shut down a universe of their most-hated ideological opponents… The goal of the Exxon probe isn’t to protect consumers or help the environment. It’s a message: Oppose us, and we will marshal our terrifying government powers to intimidate and threaten you, to force you to spend millions defending yourself, to eat up the time you’d otherwise use speaking out.” (6/16/16)

C. Boyden Gray, Former U.S. Ambassador to the EU and Former White House Counsel:

“The decision to single out Exxon is especially ill conceived, because when it comes to actual proposals for real legislative action on climate change, Exxon’s advocacy has been indistinguishable from some of the leading environmental organizations. The Sierra Club’s former chief climate counsel has recounted how he and ExxonMobil’s climate policy manager “found common ground when we realized that we actually agreed on the best approach to climate policy”—namely a revenue neutral carbon tax—hardly the strategy one would expect from a company dedicated to covering up climate science.” (2/11/16)

Financial Times: Flimsy Legal Basis for #ExxonKnew, Alarming Free Speech Implications:

“The investigations launched by the attorney-generals of some US states and the Virgin Islands set a troubling precedent for other policy debates, and threaten to undermine the cause that they aim to support…The legal basis for these actions seems flimsy…Beyond that, the implications of the investigations for free speech on public policy issues are alarming. Everyone ought to be able to take part in policy debates without worrying that their opponents will be able to use the law to go on fishing expeditions through their private communications, looking for embarrassing tit-bits that can be used against them…. The actions by the attorney-generals can only degrade the quality of that debate.” (Editorial, 4/24/16)

Wall Street Journal: #ExxonKnew an ‘Attempt to Stamp Out All Disagreement on Global-Warming’ Policy:

“This marks a dangerous new escalation of the left’s attempt to stamp out all disagreement on global-warming science and policy…. Even with the fearsome power of the Martin Act, this investigation appears built for media consumption more than courtroom success.” (Editorial, 11/8/15)

Bloomberg View: Investigation is ‘Dangerous Arrogation of Power’:

“Engaging in scientific research and public advocacy shouldn’t be crimes in a free country. Using the criminal law to shame and encumber companies that do so is a dangerous arrogation of power.” (Editorial, 11/10/15)

Washington Post: Exxon ‘Didn’t Commit a Crime,’ Science Depends on Allowing Criticism:

“[T]here’s also a risk whenever law enforcement holds the prospect of criminal penalties over those involved in a scientific debate. Legitimate scientific inquiry depends on allowing strong, even unfair, criticism of the claims that scientists make. As the Exxon investigations show, respecting that principle will not lead to positive outcomes in all cases. But it nevertheless demands that the government leave a sizable buffer zone between irresponsible claims and claims it believes may be criminally fraudulent.” (Editorial, 11/14/15)

New York Post: It’s the State AGs Who Should Be Investigated:

“New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other state AGs are probing ExxonMobil — but maybe they’re the ones who should be investigated…the anti-Exxon campaign is starting to look like a conspiracy in its own right – pursuing a purely political vendetta in a blatant abuse of office.” (Editorial, 4/19/16)