Dems push for investigation into Trump team’s Energy letter

Dems push for investigation into Trump team’s Energy letter

A group of Democratic senators is pushing federal officials to investigate a questionnaire from President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE's transition team aimed at Department of Energy (DOE) employees’ climate work. 

In a letter to the independent Office of Special Counsel, nine Democrats said the Trump team's request, sent last week, appears to “have violated long-standing federal laws designed to protect civil servants against coercion for partisan purposes.”

“We ask that you take immediate action to review these deeply troubling requests,” said the Democrats, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.). 

Trump’s DOE transition team sent agency officials a letter last week asking them to name employees involved in President Obama’s climate change work. 


Department officials refused the request Tuesday. The transition team distanced itself from the questionnaire, saying it “was not authorized or part of our standard protocol. The person who sent it has been properly counseled.”

Even so, Democrats were angered by the request, saying it raises concerns about retaliatory actions against employees who have worked on climate issues during the Obama administration. Trump does not believe the science behind climate change, and he has said he will undo Obama’s climate work once he takes office. 

The Office of Special Counsel investigates issues that impact federal employees and government personnel practices. The senators said the Trump team’s letter could violate federal law and that it should be investigated. 

“We are alarmed by the requests in the Energy Department questionnaire because they strongly appear to be motivated by partisan political purposes, which are forbidden by [the law] and are therefore impermissible actions by transition officials,” the Democrats wrote in their letter to Office of Special Counsel head Carolyn Lerner.

Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySchumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Durbin signals he isn't interested in chairing Judiciary Committee Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (Vt.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Pelosi, Mnuchin push stimulus talks forward, McConnell applies brakes MORE (Calif.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne Baldwin Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Baldwin calls for Senate hearing on CDC response to meatpacking plant coronavirus outbreak Democrats demand answers from Labor Department on CDC recommendations for meatpacking plant MORE (Wis.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Trump signs legislation making hacking voting systems a federal crime Congress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act MORE (R.I.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPelosi hopeful COVID-19 relief talks resume 'soon' Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out PPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  MORE (Md.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSchumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Durbin signals he isn't interested in chairing Judiciary Committee Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (Del.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPlaintiff and defendant from Obergefell v. Hodges unite to oppose Barrett's confirmation Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (Wash.) also signed the letter.