Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

Firm That Vetted Snowden Hires More Lobbyists

The investigative firm that vetted Edward Snowden, and is also defending itself from a government lawsuit, has hired another Washington lobbying firm.

The Podesta Group registered this week to lobby for U.S. Investigative Services LLC, a company that provides background investigative services. The Podesta Group will lobby on “oversight and legislation related to government security clearance processes.” Tony Podesta, David Marin and Josh Holly are the lobbyists. Marin had been the Staff Director of the House Oversight Committee and worked for Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. Holly used to work on the House Armed Services Committee. The effective date of the registration was 10/11.

In August, the firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP registered to lobby for U.S. Investigative Services. They lobby on “government security clearance contracts, policies, procedures and legislative proposals including but not limited to S. 1197, Section 931.” In October, McDermott Will & Emery LLP reported they were paid $40,000 in the third quarter. Lobbyists include Stephen Ryan, former General Counsel of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee; David Ransom, former Communications advisor to then Majoirty Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Edward Eynon, former investigative counsel on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee; and Anne Marie Turner, former Counsel to the House Committee on Government Reform.

U.S. Investigative Services (USIS) had a contract since 1996 to do background checks and field interviews for persons wanting to work for the federal government. At the end of October 2013, the Justice Department joined a whistleblower law suit that alleges USIS ‘dumped’ background checks to the government without performing the necessary quality reviews.

Although the lawsuit is not specifically about the USIS vetting of Snowden, nor is it about the USIS vetting of Aaron Alexis, who killed a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard this fall, the two recent examples intensify the on-going focus on the USIS company.
Lobbyists were most likely helpful in preparing for a Congressional hearing on October 31st, when the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing on the security clearance process for contract workers and federal employees.

To search detailed money-in-politics databases, visit Political MoneyLine.

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