Left-wing groups criticize Biden Treasury nominee over work for Exxon, Wall Street

Left-wing groups criticize Biden Treasury nominee over work for Exxon, Wall Street
© Greg Nash

Left-wing groups are urging the Biden administration to reconsider the president’s nominee to be the Treasury Department’s top lawyer over his ties to the fossil fuel industry, Wall Street and Big Tech. 

In a letter dated Wednesday and addressed to Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenBudget impasses mark a critical turning point in Biden's presidency We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE, the environmental and other liberal groups argued that the administration should choose someone besides Neil MacBride to serve as the Treasury’s general counsel. 

“As a private corporate attorney, MacBride defended fossil fuel companies, Wall Street giants, Big Tech monopolies, and a myriad of other corporate industries,” they wrote. 

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“His past work fighting vigorously and successfully on behalf of corporations against the public interest disqualifies him from a role in the administration. We call on the Biden Administration to withdraw his nomination and nominate a qualified and committed public servant in his stead,” added the groups, which include the Sierra Club, CatholicNetwork US and Future Coalition.

They particularly pointed to MacBride’s representation of ExxonMobil in a lawsuit against the Treasury Department that overturned a penalty levied against the company after it allegedly violated foreign sanctions.

The organizations also highlighted work he’s done for Facebook and Wells Fargo, as well as his representation of Morgan Stanley in its settlement with the federal government for not disclosing information about the quality of mortgage loans it sold. 

MacBride, the White House and the Treasury Department didn’t immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

MacBride has also served as Biden's chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and was the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia during the Obama Administration. 

Last year, he faced similar scrutiny from progressives when it was announced that he would be part of the Biden transition team reviewing the Justice Department.