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 TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee 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 LeahyFirst Black secretary of Senate sworn in Press: The big loser: The Republican Party Senate acquits Trump in 57-43 vote MORE (Vt.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda Pro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget China has already infiltrated America's institutions MORE (Calif.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinDemocrats push Biden to include recurring payments in recovery package Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line MORE (Wis.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseFBI director commits to providing Senate information after grilling from Democrat Biden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda Tucker Carlson bashes CNN, claims it's 'more destructive' than QAnon MORE (R.I.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate GOP will force clerks to read bill to delay COVID-19 relief vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine Biden tells Senate Democrats to stick together, quickly pass coronavirus relief MORE (Md.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers Democrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda Khashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be 'stain on our humanity' MORE (Del.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBiden convenes bipartisan meeting on cancer research Pro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget Senate Democrats offer fresh support for embattled Tanden MORE (Wash.) also signed the letter.