Nadler & Cicilline Statement on DOJ Antitrust Investigation Into Automakers Who Struck Vehicle Emissions Deal with CA

Sep 11, 2019

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) released the following statement on reports that the Department of Justice opened an antitrust investigation into automakers who reached an agreement with California regarding state emissions standards:

“President Trump has repeatedly misused his office to punish perceived adversaries—in this case companies who cooperate with state government pursuing strong environmental protection policies. The Department’s antitrust investigation into the four major automakers who reached an emissions control agreement with California is only the latest in a profoundly troubling pattern of abuse of power that has flourished under the Trump presidency.

“As a policy matter, California’s agreement with the four major automakers to reduce emissions will safeguard the public and the environment while providing the industry with regulatory certainty.  The President sees that as a threat to his assault on the environment. So, it is no surprise that his Administration is again threatening to wield federal antitrust laws in response. There is virtually no antitrust theory that the Justice Department can use to prove that this agreement will unreasonably restrain trade or otherwise violate the antitrust laws.

“The House Judiciary Committee is examining allegations of obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by the President. Using the Department of Justice to investigate or attack perceived political enemies—whether they are individuals, states, or major corporations—is another example of this President’s disregard for the rule of law.  The Committee will broaden its investigation into the President’s unprecedented criminality, corruption, and cover-up to include these latest revelations and will take further investigative steps regarding this decision by the Department, including scheduling hearings and requesting documents from the Department and the White House. We look forward to hearing what rationale, if any, the Justice Department has for its latest attempt to score political points at the expense of the American people.”