Posts Tagged ‘Covington & Burling’
Thursday, August 15th, 2013 by Vbhotla
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is again cracking down on illegal foreign lobbying. Covington & Burling’s Brian D. Smith writes that federal prosecutors in Chicago have filed a criminal complaint against two lobbyists – Prince Asiel Ben Israel and C. Gregory Turner – who allegedly violated U.S. sanctions by lobbying on behalf of Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe. (See here a fact sheet on U.S.-Zimbabwean relations).
Two Chicago-area Democrats – Reps. Danny K. Davis and Bobby L. Rush – have been C” from California – has yet to be revealed.
This isn’t the first time that the feds have gone after lobbyists for illegal foreign lobbying. Smith writes that in 2009, Robert Cabelly, a former State Department official, violated U.S. sanctions by lobbying on behalf of Sudan. More recently, several lobbyists were charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by failing to disclose that they were lobbying on behalf of a foreign country while attempting to influence U.S. officials.
The government is sending a clear message: FARA and sanctions violators beware. As Smith notes, these recent cases demonstrate the importance for lobbyists to follow FARA to the letter. Noncompliance is simply not worth the risk.
Tags: Covington & Burling, Foreign Agents Registration Act
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Feds Enforce Rules on Foreign Lobbying
Thursday, March 14th, 2013 by Geoffrey Lyons
FORMER FIFTEEN-TERM Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who lost his 2012 primary bid to fellow Democrat Brad Sherman, is joining Covington & Burling LLP as a lobbyist. The news comes a mere week after the firm picked up former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), which compels one to ask, “who’s next??”
“Often dubbed half of the “Waxman-Berman machine” that dominated California politics for decades, Berman and longtime ally Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) are credited with bringing “Hollywood issues” like digital piracy to Washington.” – The Washington Post
“Although Kyl and Berman served in different parties and chambers, both said they have established a good working relationship over the years….Berman and Kyl were hired months after the firm brought on Dan Bryant, former senior vice president of global public policy and government affairs at PepsiCo, to lead its public policy practice in Washington and Brussels.” – POLITICO
Tags: Covington & Burling, howard berman, jon kyl, lobby, Lobbying, lobbyist
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Rep. Berman to Join Covington
Monday, July 12th, 2010 by Vbhotla
The public corruption statute, which has been used by the federal government to prosecute lobbyists in the JackAbramoff case (among myriad other bribery and kickback cases), was narrowed in definition by the Supreme Court on June 24.
The decision, according to Roll Call, “limit[s] the use of a public corruption statute known as the ‘honest services’ law to only those cases involving bribery or kickback schemes.” The Court decided on three separate cases: Skilling v. United States, Black v. United States, and Weyhrauch v. United States. According to Covington & Burling, a DC law firm, the fraud statute is now “co-extensive with existing bribery and kickback statutes, meaning that the Government will need to prove that gifts, political contributions, or other things of value were provided to federal officials as a quid pro quo for specific official acts.”
Judge Ellen Huvelle, US District Court for the District of Columbia, ordered the re-trial of former Abramoff associate Kevin Ring to be delayed until October, citing the Supreme Court decision in Skilling as narrowing the scope of the applicable statute under which Ring was charged. But the Department of Justice isn’t changing their approach to prosecuting Ring, who was mis-tried in the fall and re-scheduled for trial this summer. Ring’s prosecution is for a bribery scheme. Federal prosecutor Peter Koski said the high court’s ruling in Skilling v. United States has “no impact whatsoever” on Ring’s prosecution.
Because the prosecutor must now prove specific quid pro quo actions in order to correctly use the Honest Services Fraud statute, Huvelle told prosecutors that they must outline specific official actions and their intended outcomes in the next few weeks; she also ordered Ring’s attorneys to file a new motion to acquit.
Roll Call article is here; Covington & Burling update is here. (PDF) See our previous post on Skilling, et. al, here.
Tags: bribery, Bruce Weyhrauch, Conrad Black, Covington & Burling, honest services, Jeffrey Skilling, Kevin Ring, kickbacks, lobbyists
Posted in Government Relations Alert | Comments Off on Honest Services Fraud Statute Diminished by Supreme Court Ruling
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 by Vbhotla
On June 24, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal honest services fraud statute only covers bribery and kickback schemes. What does this mean for lobbyists? Covington & Burling has the (qualified) answer:
“With respect to federal officials and federal lobbyists, Skilling essentially renders the honest services fraud statute co-extensive with existing bribery and kickback statutes, meaning that the Government will need to prove that gifts, political contributions, or other things of value were provided to federal officials as a quid pro quo for specific official acts.” (From Covington & Burling’s Client Alert)
According to the political law team over at Covington, this is a more narrow interpretation of the statute than has recently been used by prosecutors.
But the Blog of Legal Times reports that the Department of Justice isn’t changing their approach to prosecuting Abramoff associate Kevin Ring, who was mis-tried in the fall and re-scheduled for trial this summer. Ring’s prosecution is for a bribery scheme. The blog reports that: “At a hearing today in Washington federal district court, Public Integrity Section trial attorney Peter Koski said the high court’s June 24 ruling in Skilling v. United States has “no impact whatsoever” on the prosecution of Ring.” (Read the full story on Ring’s trial here).
Tags: Blog of Legal Times, bribery, Bruce Weyhrauch, Conrad Black, Covington & Burling, honest services, Jeffrey Skilling, kickbacks, lobbyists
Posted in Lobbying News, Regulations | Comments Off on Skilling, Black, Weyhrauch, and You
Friday, July 2nd, 2010 by Vbhotla
Eric Brown tips us off to an LDA amendment: originally the bill sought to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act, but now amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act to “prohibit any registered lobbyist whose clients include foreign governments which are found to be sponsors of international terrorism or include other foreign nationals from making contributions and other campaign-related disbursements in elections for public office”; bill text is now available from the GPO here (H.R. 5609).
Big acquisition by Patton Boggs reported: Breaux Lott Leadership Group will now be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Patton Boggs; former Senators John Breaux (D-La.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and their small but “effective” boutique lobbying firm will join the large team at Patton Boggs, starting immediately. Bonus (because it’s Friday): did you know Trent Lott’s given name is Chester Trent Lott? His son (also a member of the lobbying group) bears the same name. Now you know. Read about the “strategic coup” at the Blog of Legal Times.
Time profiles Lobbyists and their Return on Investment, in a series of short lobbyist/issue/payoff profiles.
Ex-Rep. John Campbell was taken down by the Jack Abramoff affair; Roll Call profiles Campbell’s life since 2005.
House Ethics Clears Rep. Richardson. The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct released its report in the matter of Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and cleared her of any wrongdoing in the mortgage matter. (link is a PDF)
Two great compliance / political law resources to take to the beach with you over your long holiday weekend:
Quote of the week:
“The irony of it is that every time the president says we lobbyists have all this influence, people who don’t have a lobbyist want one… He exaggerates our power, but he increases demand for our services.” – Tony Podesta, Podesta Group, NYTimes article on the “Superlobbyist,” July 1.
Happy 4th of July Holiday Weekend from all of us at Lobby Blog!
Tags: Breaux Lott, Covington & Burling, Ethics, FECA, John Campbell, Laura Richardson, LDA, lobbyists, Patton Boggs, Podesta Group, State and Federal Communications, Tony Podesta
Posted in Weekly Lobbying News Round-Up | Comments Off on Weekly Lobbying News Round-Up
Monday, June 21st, 2010 by Vbhotla
Research in Motion has hired Republican Jason Scism to fill the slot vacated by Democrat Brian Peters, who went to Franklin Square Group. Scism joins RIM from the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
Nick Tzitzon, government policy advisor at Dykema Gossett PLLC, is leaving. He is a former chief of staff at the Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice; and former deputy director of intergovernmental affairs at the Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
The Mortgage Bankers Association has snagged Bill Killmer as its senior vice president of legislative and political affairs. Killmer, who will start on July 5, spent the past 20 years with the National Association of Home Builders, ending his tenure there as executive vice president for advocacy.
Covington & Burling has hired Capitol Hill veteran Muftiah McCartin as special counsel in the law firm’s government affairs practice in Washington. McCartin had most recently been staff director of the House Rules Committee and, earlier, on the staff of the House Appropriations Committee.
Alan Reuther, the top lobbyist for the United Auto Workers, is stepping down, his office confirmed Tuesday.
Tags: Covington & Burling, Dykema Gossett, Mortgage Bankers Association, Research in Motion, United Auto Workers
Posted in Government Relations Alert, Industry Moves & Changes | Comments Off on Lobbying Moves & Changes