Democrats Call for Investigation of Trump’s Inquiry on DOE Climate Scientists
Citing partisan political motivations, several Senators are calling on the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to investigate the questionnaire the Department of Energy (DOE) received from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.
The 74-question document received earlier this month asked DOE officials to identify employees and contractors who worked on climate change policies for the Obama administration, among other things.
"These requests appear to have violated long-standing federal laws designed to protect civil servants against coercion for partisan purposes," the senators, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), said in the letter. "We ask that you take immediate action to review these deeply troubling requests...Taken together, these questions seem to demonstrate a clear intent to retaliate or discriminate against federal employees."
Blumenthal and his colleagues – Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) – cited the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA), a 1978 law that protects employees from coercion for partisan political purposes.
"We are alarmed by the requests in the DOE questionnaire because they strongly appear to be motivated by partisan political purposes, which are forbidden by the CSRA and are therefore impermissible actions by transition officials," the senators wrote. They asked for a response by Friday, Dec. 23.
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