Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used an email alias to discuss issues related to climate change while he was an executive at ExxonMobil, according to the New York attorney general.
Attorney General Eric Scheiderman made the claim in a letter Monday asking a New York state judge to enforce a subpoena for documents in the state’s probe into whether Exxon misled investors about what it knew about climate change and its impact on the company.
“OAG found that Exxon’s former Chairman and CEO, Rex Wayne Tillerson, utilized an alias email address on the Exxon system under the pseudonym ‘Wayne Tracker’ from at least 2008 through 2015,” John Oleske, a lawyer in Schneiderman’s office, wrote in the letter. “Mr. Tillerson used this secondary email address to send and receive materials regarding important matters, including those concerning to the risk-management issues related to climate change that are the focus of OAG’s investigation.”
Oleske wrote that Exxon included emails from the “Wayne Tracker” account in documents provided to the attorney general, although Exxon had not previously disclosed that Tillerson used an additional email account while he was there.
Schniederman’s office also complained that the documents Exxon recently submitted did not completely fulfill the state’s request.
Exxon acknowledged in a statement to the Wall Street Journal that the “Wayne Tracker” email does exist.
“[It] was put in place for secure and expedited communications between select senior company officials and the former chairman for a broad range of business-related topics,” the company said in a statement, emphasizing that the alias email account was not exclusively used to discuss matters related to climate change.
Other members of President Donald Trump’s administration used private emails accounts to conduct their previous work. Scott Pruit, who leads the Environmental Protection Agency, used a private email for his work as Oklahoma’s attorney general, though he denied using a personal email for state business in his confirmation hearing. Vice President Mike Pence also used a personal email account, which was hacked at one point, for state business while he was governor of Indiana.