Opinion: Trump Administration Email Scandal Involves Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

"Was Rex Tillerson that worried about climate risks for Exxon? Or was he more worried about the risk of revealing them to his shareholders and to the public? Or was it both?"

Opinion: Trump Administration Email Scandal Involves Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

In what is another email scandal touching yet another Trump administration player, Vladimir Putin’s good friend and United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is facing what Samantha Page remarked is “poised to cause problems” for Tillerson. It is fitting that after Republicans spent millions of taxpayer dollars investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over email, their gross hypocrisy is coming back in spades. Earlier this year it was revealed that preaching-liar Mike Pence used a personal AOL email account to discuss sensitive information while he was governor of Indiana; Pence’s AOL account was hacked.

Now, an investigation has discovered that Rex Tillerson used an “alias email account” belonging to “Wayne Tracker” that he utilized from at least 2008 to 2015 to discuss climate change. The revelation came courtesy of a court filing on Monday from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

The phony “Wayne Tracker” email account  was only discovered during the course of the investigation known as the Exxon Knew case. That case involves New York AG Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those three entities are currently in the midst of an investigation into “whether Exxon defrauded the public [and shareholders] by engaging in a campaign to discredit climate science” for the express purpose of “propping up the value of its oil and gas reserves;” including during Rex Tillerson’s tenure as Exxon CEO.

According to Greenpeace’s Naomi Ages, the organization’s lead on “the climate liability project,” this revelation that Tillerson was using an email account alias is:

(Continued Below)

A significant development in Schneiderman’s investigation into what Exxon knew about climate change, when it knew it, and what the company did to conceal it. Was Rex Tillerson that worried about climate risks for Exxon? Or was he more worried about the risk of revealing them to his shareholders and to the public? Or was it both?”

The reason Tillerson’s “email alias” is a “significant development is because “it is illegal for a company to withhold liability risks from its shareholders.” It is because shareholders were likely “misled” that the Securities and Exchange Commission is heavily involved with the Exxon Knew case being pursued by the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A spokesman for Exxon, Alan Jeffers, related to Bloomberg that Vladimir Putin’s friend Tillerson had to create a “secret alias” account because his general inbox was “overloaded.” And that the “alias” account was only used for “secure and expedited communications between select senior company officials and the former chairman for a broad range of business-related topics.” No doubt within that “broad range of topics” was whom to pay off, and how best spend hundreds-of-millions downplaying and denying the dangers of climate change to mislead Exxon shareholders and protect the corporation’s profits.

New York Attorney General Schneiderman is not impressed with “the overloaded” inbox excuse and his office said that Exxon not only failed to “disclose” who the “alias’ email account belonged to,” the oil giant has also “failed to produce thousands of documents responsive to the state’s subpoena.” In fact, back in October, 2016 the N.Y. State Supreme Court ordered Exxon to comply with the subpoena. A Massachusetts court “has also upheld the investigation.”

As a reminder, there were “documents uncovered” less than two years ago revealing that as far back as the 1970s, Exxon’s own scientists, like the Koch brothers’ own scientists, knew without question that burning fossil fuels was the primary contributor to global climate change. And, Exxon also knew, including Rex Tillerson, the Koch brothers and entire fossil fuel industry that the dire warnings from climate scientists, NASA, and environmentalists that mankind has to rapidly transition away from burning fossil fuels to prevent “catastrophic climate change” were completely true and demanded immediate action.

Still, despite knowing the danger to humanity, Exxon under Tillerson, the Koch brothers, and their fossil fuel industry cohorts spent hundreds-of-millions of dollars funding oil industry and Republican efforts to discredit scientists and agencies reporting the dangers of global climate change. The very last thing either Tillerson or his Koch-related cabal could comport was the public or Exxon shareholders learning that global climate change was real and caused by burning fossil fuels.

It is possible that because two of the highly-interested parties, New York and Massachusetts attorneys general, are actively investigating Exxon and Tillerson, there may be some trouble for the Exxon and Putin’s secretary of state. However, it is also entirely possible, and likely probable, that the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) part in the investigation into Exxon and Tillerson will go nowhere; and not because it won’t have evidence against Tillerson. Remember, Trump is on a tear to dismantle any and all regulatory agencies and that includes the SEC because he will fire anyone to protect his Wall Street cabinet members and agency heads.

There have been more than a few pundits and commentators stating that this Trump administration is the epitome of corruption, and of course they are understating the extent of double-dealing and fraud around and including Trump. But that is exactly what the people wanted to run the government; a bunch of corporate thugs and Wall Street criminals who will go to any length to rape and pillage the population for personal enrichment. Tragically, there is precious little the federal government can or will do to stop them and it’s why it may be left to state law enforcement officials to hold them accountable; but no-one should hold their breath.

Recent posts on PoliticusUSA