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House Democrats accused of violating law in probe of oil companies 

House Democrats are being sued for their potential misuse of outside funds into a climate-related investigation into oil companies.

Published: February 9, 2022 8:00am

Updated: February 9, 2022 9:02am

A watchdog group has filed a lawsuit accusing House Democrats of violating federal law and congressional rules by using private donations to fund staff working on a committee investigation into oil companies.

The 33-page lawsuit was filed Jan. 24 by the group Government Accountability & Oversight on behalf of conservative radio host Rob Schilling, who is seeking records from Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has been conducting a probe into allegations that major oil companies are spreading "disinformation" about climate change.

The suit alleges that House Democrats violated the law in their effort to challenge oil companies, particularly via their use of outside funds to support their investigative efforts.

It also requests access to "certain records pertaining to the use of outside private donations, funds, or in-kind goods or services to conduct and support the activities of, or pay the expenses of, a congressional office in violation of House rules."

A spokesman for Democrats on the committee denied the allegations in a statement to the Daily Signal, saying they have followed all relevant laws and rules. 

Co-Equal, the private nonprofit group named in the suit, denies participating in a hearing on the investigation of oil companies.

The group was founded by two former House Democrat staffers who spearheaded the congressional tobacco hearings several decades ago.

The group is also funded by liberal dark money group Arabella Advisors and reportedly another funded by progressive mega-donor George Soros.

"This seems to be no more than scapegoating Congress’s failure to persuade the public about this agenda, after all this time and money," Schilling told the Daily Signal. "But members of Congress are getting ever more bold about confessing the true purpose here is not legitimate legislative inquiry." 

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