The Democratic attorney general from New York is ready to sue President-elect Trump's administration if he believes Trump is undermining the Environmental Protection Agency or state law.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on CNN Monday that he'll treat Trump as many Republican state attorney generals treated President Obama. Many Republican state attorney generals challenged Obama's rules and regulations in court, leading to high-profile litigation.
For Schneiderman, Trump is a unique threat to the Obama administration's regulatory legacy, especially around the issue of climate change.
"The level of rhetoric and the challenges to things as basic as climate change are serious," he said.
Schneiderman investigated and later sued Trump over his Trump University business, arguing that the president-elect defrauded customers over the program. That case was settled shortly after Trump was elected.
Schneiderman has also led the fight to support the Obama administration over climate change, including leading a group of Democratic state attorneys general who promised to use their state powers to fight the effects of climate change.
Part of that included a controversial investigation of Exxon Mobil and groups affiliated with the oil giant that has raised the ire of Republican lawmakers and resulted in an investigation by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Schneiderman said he plans to fight Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's version of the EPA, which he anticipates will dismantle environmental regulations. Pruitt was chosen by Trump to lead the nation's environmental agencies.
"The EPA isn't just something that operates on a whim," Schneiderman said. "The structure of laws and regulations around the EPA have been litigated for years."