New York’s attorney general asked a judge to stop the oil giant from subpoenaing documents from investors, saying it would ‘discourage them from testifying’.

Prosecutors in New York are accusing ExxonMobil of trying to discourage potential witnesses from testifying about whether the oil giant misled investors over the costs it may face from future climate regulations. They asked a judge to block Exxon from making what they describe as “unreasonable” and extensive requests for documents from the witnesses.

On Thursday, Justice Barry Ostrager of the New York Supreme Court sided with the prosecutors, saying that Exxon “can’t go on a gigantic, burdensome fishing expedition to exhume hundreds or thousands of documents that have no relevance to the issues in this case.”

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