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Cuccinelli In Hot Seat Over Climate Change Challenge

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By Elliott Francis

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's claim that Dr. Michael Mann fraudulently obtained grants for climate research was rejected by a county circuit Judge. Dr. Mann says he's pleased with the decision, but believes the AG's motives run deeper.

The pressure from the AG's office began earlier this year when e-mail turned up suggesting scientists were exaggerating the threat of climate change.

Brian Gottstein is a spokeperson for the state attorney general.

"If any of that manipulated data was used to garner taxpayer money in the form of grants, then the Attorney General has to look into that," says Gottstein.

Mann, who was mentioned but cleared in the controversy, says it's his research on global warming that put him in the AG's crosshairs.

"Here was another effort by a professional climate change denier, to try and manufacture false controversy, to try and intimidate climate scientists, to do anything he can to thwart progress," says Mann.

Cuccinelli is considering an appeal of the judge's ruling.

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