U.S. Markets closed

Mnuchin Says Exxon Can't See More Documents on Russia Sanctions

Erik Larson
A flame from gas flare blazes on top of a flare stack at the Exxon Mobil Corp. Banyu Urip Central Processing Facility in the Cepu block of Bojonegoro, East Java, Indonesia, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Exxon is seeking to increase production from the Banyu Urip field to 200,000 barrels per day, according to Erwin Maryoto, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs at ExxonMobil Cepu. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Texas judge that Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn’t have a right to see privileged documents related to a $2 million fine assessed against the energy company for violating sanctions related to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which issued the penalty in July 2017, asked U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle in Dallas on Tuesday to overturn a magistrate judge’s June decision ordering Treasury to hand over more documents. OFAC said it’s already given the company a 23,000-page administrative record that includes all non-privileged material.

Exxon signed legal documents in May 2014 related to oil and gas projects in Russia with Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft OAO, who is on the Treasury’s list of sanctioned Russian nationals, the U.S. said. The alleged violations, which Exxon denies, occurred while President Donald Trump’s former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson led the Irving, Texas-based company.

Exxon sued over the penalty last year, arguing the agency’s interpretation of a 2014 executive order by former President Barack Obama violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it was "arbitrary and capricious."

Read Mnuchin Says Exxon Can't See More Documents on Russia Sanctions on bloombergpolitics.com