Hillary joins calls for federal probe of Exxon climate change research

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAFL-CIO head: Trump’s ‘a fraud’ Sanders skirts Biden's claim that he'll endorse Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: DNC hacker Guccifer 2.0 speaks out MORE said she wants a federal investigation into how Exxon Mobil Corp. has communicated about its research into climate change.

Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is joining multiple Democrats, including opponents Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders skirts Biden's claim that he'll endorse Clinton The Trail 2016: Meet and greet and grief Biden spills beans: Sanders will endorse Clinton MORE (Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in calling for the Justice Department to probe Exxon.

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She was asked whether Exxon should be subject to an investigation at a New Hampshire campaign stop by Jordan Cichon, a volunteer for 350 Action, a climate activist group that published a video of her comments.

“Yes, yes they should,” she said of a potential Justice Department investigation. “There's a lot of evidence [Exxon] misled people.”

Recent news investigations by the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News have found evidence that the outlets say shows Exxon, before its merger with Mobil, spent millions of dollars on climate change research in the 1970s and 1980s.

The company later shifted strategies and put even more money into sowing doubt about climate change and the role played by burning fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas, the news organizations reported.

That has prompted calls from Democrats including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.), Sanders and O’Malley for an investigation into whether Exxon committed a federal crime by allegedly hiding what it knew about climate change.

Exxon has pushed back, pointing to the work it has done in recent years to reduce greenhouse gases, fund climate science and stop funding skepticism about climate change.

“Reading the documents shows that these allegations are based on deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to various ExxonMobil employees to wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago by company researchers,” Exxon wrote in a recent blog post about the documents included in the investigations.

“These statements were taken completely out of context and ignored other readily available statements demonstrating that our researchers recognized the developing nature of climate science at the time which, in fact, mirrored global understanding,” it said.