Presented by the Grocery Manufacturers Association
With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman
HUAWEI HIRES SIDLEY AUSTIN: Huawei, the embattled Chinese technology company the Trump administration hurt last week by restricting its ability to do business with the federal government, has hired a team of lawyers to lobby on its behalf. Rob Torresen, Tom Green and Mark Hopson of Sidley Austin will lobby for Huawei on export controls, trade, sanctions “and other national security-related topics,” according to a disclosure filing.
— It’s unclear how much lobbying Sidley will be doing on Huawei’s behalf. Huawei hired two other Washington lawyers earlier this year who registered to lobby — Samir Jain of Jones Day and Richard Cunningham of Steptoe Johnson — but neither of them reported contacting Congress or any government agencies during the second quarter. Huawei decided more than a year ago that it wouldn’t be worthwhile to lobby to Congress or the administration, a person familiar with the company’s strategy told me in June, and Huawei has spent much less on lobbying than some other Chinese companies targeted by Congress and the administration. One such company, Hikvision, which makes surveillance cameras, retains three other Sidley Austin lawyers.
BURCK REGISTERS TO LOBBY: Bill Burck, one of the managing partners of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Sullivan’s Washington office, has registered to lobby for the first time. Burck, a former aide in President George W. Bush’s White House whom The New York Times described last year as “the latest incarnation of the Washington superlawyer,” and two other Quinn Emanuel lawyers, Stephen Hauss and Graham O’Donoghue, will lobby for Privinvest, a Lebanese shipbuilding company. They’ll provide “legal advice and services in connection with pending US court proceedings and investigations,” according to a disclosure filing. It’s the first time any Quinn Emanuel lawyers have lobbied since 2016.
— The Justice Department charged two Privinvest executives, along with bankers and Mozambican officials, late last year with running an international kickback scheme. “Privinvest, with the knowledge of its executives Jean Boustani, Iskandar Safa and Najib Allam, wired me millions of dollars in unlawful kickbacks from loan proce and illegal payments for my assistance in securing loans made by Credit Suisse,” Andrew Pearse, who ran the global financing group in Credit Suisse’s London office at the time, said in federal court last month. Privinvest has said the company and Safa, its chief executive, had no knowledge of any wrongdoing. Burck wasn’t immediately available for comment.
20.4 million. That’s how many jobs are supported by the consumer packaged goods industry in the United States. From shampoo to snacks, the CPG industry provides economic opportunity (and great products) for millions of Americans. Learn more.
IF YOU MISSED IT ON FRIDAY: “A lobbyist for the U.S. Soccer Federation reached out to at least five Democratic presidential campaigns ahead of their primary debate last month to argue that the women’s national team isn’t paid less than the men’s team,” POLITICO’s Elena Schneider and I report. “The soccer organization has been fighting a highly publicized lawsuit brought by the World Cup-winning women’s team, and the federation apparently believed the players’ claims of being underpaid might become an issue in the Democratic debate, emails obtained by POLITICO show.”
— “’Given the high profile nature of this issue, and the fact that it could come up during the debate, the U.S. Soccer Federation wants to be sure all of the candidates have access to all available information,’ Ray Bucheger, a lobbyist hired by U.S. Soccer, wrote in an email to one of the campaigns late last month. Bucheger also sent to several campaigns a presentation U.S. Soccer has circulated on Capitol Hill in recent weeks as part of a lobbying campaign to push back against the women’s pay claims.”
CRAIG GOES ON TRIAL: Greg Craig, the former White House counsel charged with misleading the Justice Department about his work promoting a report his law firm wrote for the Ukrainian government, is heading to trial today in the latest offshoot of the special counsel’s investigation. (Paul Manafort hired Craig’s firm, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom, in 2012 on behalf of the Ukrainian government.) The trial “is widely viewed as a litmus test of the Justice Department’s growing effort to hold more foreign lobbyists criminally responsible for conduct the agency once treated as mere administrative infractions,” The New York Times’ Sharon LaFraniere reports.
— “Although Mr. Craig is charged with lying to federal law enforcement officials — not for failing to register as a foreign agent — defense lawyers said his indictment signified a sea change in the Justice Department toward those who failed to disclose their foreign lobbying work. ‘The fact that there is a Greg Craig trial shows how much the atmosphere has changed,’ said Matthew T. Sanderson, a defense lawyer who specializes in foreign lobbying cases at the law firm of Caplin and Drysdale. ‘The Justice Department is going after some high-profile scalps.’”
— Craig’s his allies have suggested “he’s being singled out because of the case’s connections to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and to Manafort,” POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein reports. “‘It’s really off that the first-ever prosecution of this kind of thing would be for someone talking to a journalist and saying things to him that were accurate,’ said Stuart Taylor, a former New York Times reporter and close friend of Craig’s. ‘That’s something to be applauded, not indicted for. … What harm was done? What villainous thing has happened?’”
ANOTHER GIG FOR WHITAKER: “Matthew G. Whitaker, the former acting attorney general and a loyalist to President Trump, is joining a cybersecurity firm as an of counsel, one in a string of jobs he has taken on since leaving the administration, an official with the firm said on Sunday,” The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reports. “Mr. Whitaker’s role with the firm — PC Matic, which specializes in antivirus software — will be the third private sector job he has undertaken in the past few weeks. Gavin Smith, a spokesman for PC Matic, confirmed Mr. Whitaker’s position with the company.”
— “Mr. Whitaker is also to be the managing director of Clout Public Affairs, a division of the political consulting firm Axiom Strategies. … Mr. Whitaker is also serving as of counsel to the law firm Graves Garrett, where he worked before joining the Trump administration.” Coincidentally, PC Matic recently hired its first lobbyist. Van Hipp of American Defense International will lobby for the company on issues “pertaining to end point computer software protection,” according to a disclosure filing.
ABOUT THOSE HAMPTONS FUNDRAISERS: Two fundraisers in the Hamptons on Friday — one of which triggered calls for boycotts of Equinox and SoulCycle after The Washington Post reported that it would be hosted by Stephen Ross, the real estate magnate whose company owns stakes in both businesses — raised millions of dollars for President Donald Trump’s campaign. “Thanks to the unhinged mob on the left, @realDonaldTrump raised $12M today, $2M more than originally expected,” Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee’s chairwoman, tweeted on Friday afternoon.
— Lyft has hired David Bonelli and Lauren Smith as senior managers of federal public policy, Playbook reports. Bonelli previously was a senior attorney at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Smith was senior counsel at the Future of Privacy Forum.
— Michael Dreeben, who had been a member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections, is joining Georgetown Law as a distinguished lecturer from government for the 2019-2020 academic year.
— Kelly Ogburn has joined the Institute of Politics and Public Service at Georgetown University as communications director, Playbook reports. She previously was a senior associate at Hamilton Place Strategies.
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DeMaio Victory Fund (Gen-Next GOP Leaders Fund, Carl DeMaio for Congress)
Protect the Majority Chiefs Victory Fund (Reps. Cindy Axne, Sharice Davids, Josh Harder and Kendra Horn)
Van Hollen/Gideon Joint Fund 2020 (Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Sara Gideon for Maine)
Gen-Next GOP Leaders Fund (Leadership PAC: Carl DeMaio)
GunSense PAC (PAC)
Pro Pro (PAC)
Ballard Partners: Alden Torch Financial, LLC
Ballard Partners: East Alabama Medical Center
Groom Law Group, Chartered: ELAP Services
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Hologic, Inc.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Sullivan, LLP: Privinvest Holding SAL
Sidley Austin LLP: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
The Raben Group: Intersections of Our Lives (informal coalition)
The CPG industry is the largest manufacturing employer in the United States, supporting one in 10 jobs with an average income of $64,000 — far more than the national average. In our new report, GMA breaks down CPG’s impact by state and congressional district. Learn how everyday products are making a big impact where you live.
Theodoric Meyer @theodoricmeyer
About The Author : Theodoric Meyer
Theodoric Meyer covers lobbying for POLITICO and writes the POLITICO Influence newsletter. He previously covered the 2016 campaign for POLITICO and worked as a reporting fellow for ProPublica in New York. He was a lead reporter on ProPublica’s “After the Flood” series on the federal government’s troubled flood insurance program, which won the Deadline Club Award for Local Reporting. He’s a graduate of McGill University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
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