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Congressional Dems Demand Answers From Big Oil Over Trump’s “Quid Pro Quo” Offer

Rep. Jamie Raskin, ranking member of the Oversight Committee, called Trump’s offer to oil execs a “corrupt bargain.”

Former President Donald Trump leaves the courtroom at the end of the day's proceedings in his criminal trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 14, 2024, in New York City.

Democrats are demanding answers from “Big Oil” executives after a report revealed a meeting took place with former President Donald Trump to discuss a $1 billion donation to his campaign in exchange for beneficial policies should he win the presidential election this year.

The meeting, which was first reported on by The Washington Post, took place in April at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump pitched the donation as a potential “deal” for fossil fuel companies, noting that the donation would be much smaller than the amount they’d save through tax cuts and deregulation.

Democrats are seeking to discover whether improprieties happened between Trump and the executives. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), the ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, sent letters to nine Big Oil CEOs on Monday, demanding they provide details about their meeting with Trump.

“I write to request any information you may have about quid pro quo financial agreements related to U.S. energy policy that were reportedly proposed at a recent campaign fundraising dinner with ex-President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Club that you appear to have attended,” Raskin said in his letters to the companies.

Raskin is asking for the fossil fuel executives to disclose who attended the Mar-a-Lago meeting, what material was given to them by Trump, and whether any donations were given at that time or later, according to The Post.

The letters were sent to officials at Chevron, ExxonMobil, Continental Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Venture Global LNG, Cheniere Energy, EQT Corporation, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Raskin also noted in his letters that fossil fuel companies are reportedly drafting up executive orders and other policy initiatives for a second Trump presidency. Raskin’s letters requested that copies of those drafts be sent to him as well.

“These preparatory actions suggest that certain oil and gas companies, which have a track record of using deceitful tactics to undermine effective climate policy, may have already accepted or facilitated Mr. Trump’s explicit corrupt bargain,” Raskin said in his letters.

Despite the tone of Raskin’s missive, Democrats in the House Oversight Committee are unable to compel the executives to send the requested information, due to Republican control of the House. However, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) has indicated that he may use his powers as chair of the Senate Budget Committee (where Democrats are the majority party) to subpoena the fossil fuel companies to comply with similar future demands.

“Fossil fuel malfeasance will cost Americans trillions in climate damages, and the Budget Committee is looking at how to ensure the industry cannot simply buy off politicians in order to saddle taxpayers with the bill,” Whitehouse said.