Washington, D.C. – Last night, the Vermont Office of Attorney General (OAG) outdid itself in the latest episode of the Needlessly Endless Saga of the Exposed Climate-RICO Scheme. At 7:37 pm of its last day to produce records under court order, OAG informed the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) — after 11 months of litigation and 17 months total of consuming taxpayer dollars and judicial resources to insist it should not be forced to turn over certain records — that, now that they think about it, there really are no records to turn over.

Or, maybe there are…have some of them. But not because they were ordered by some court. It’s because they’re helpful and here to serve the State’s interests.

In correspondence to E&E Legal Attorney Matthew Hardin, the Office stated that it had now searched for the records E&E Legal requested and it insisted it need not turn over, but had found no records at all. ‘Oops’, or something else?

“It’s odd that an office would spend almost a year in litigation defending its right to withhold certain described public records, then when it loses in court suddenly decide it has no public records,” Hardin stated. “We’re going to ask the court to look closely at OAG’s change of heart to make sure this isn’t yet another convenient story to justify secrecy.”

Yesterday’s curious missive at the deadline came in (non-)response to a July 27th ruling in E&E Legal’s favor in a public records suit filed by E&E Legal against the Vermont OAG, one of two suits on which E&E Legal prevailed against OAG that day.  Both relate to that Office’s role in organizing a “climate-RICO” cabal among activist attorneys general, and private activists, targeting political opponents.

Despite the Judge’s ruling, which the Caledonia Record described as a ‘smackdown,’  the Office responded to the court’s order yesterday with more of the same: obfuscations and stonewalling.Missing a few bricks in its logical coherence load, this sudden change by OAG also abandons the failed argument made before the Washington County Superior Court for nearly a year: that OAG has the right to withhold the records at issue even though these included emails which were inherently shared with other attorneys general, from Oregon and Washington State to New York, and Washington, D.C..

OAG’s reversal was not without comic relief. Reminiscent of that time when OAG informed the Court that a Google search of requesters’ political and policy views helps dictate whether releasing records is in the state’s best interest, yesterday OAG said it would nonetheless produce some records it thought E&E Legal might be interested in. They happen to discuss E&E Legal’s FOIA requests to Vermont and other states — which records happen to meet the description of records E&E Legal sought with its request at issue in this suit — but OAG isn’t doing this because any court told it to. Why, that would admit it owes E&E Legal’s fees. No, these documents were simply those that OAG decided were “in the interests of the state” to release.

Missing from this production were discussions about anyone else’s FOIA requests to Vermont, or any other of the climate-RICO schemers, besides those sent by E&E Legal and its partners in these various pursuits. Yet the emails themselves note that many FOIA requests relating to the climate-RICO scheme were pouring in.

Such an inventive production makes no logical or legal sense, given either E&E Legal’s request sought all such discussions (it did), or it didn’t seek any.

Notably, however, several of these emails revealed the long-suspected coordination of the the climate-RICO AGs’ plainly organized stonewall.

About EE Legal

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.