Document Exposes Inconsistent Disclosure of Saudi Hand in Campaign Against JASTA

Flyer filed with DOJ included required disclosure of Saudi sponsorship; version presented to military veterans did not

By Brian P. McGlinchey

28Pages.org has uncovered a striking example of lobbyists’ selective disclosure of Saudi Arabia’s sponsorship of their work against a law that enables 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom for its alleged support of the al Qaeda hijackers.

Specifically, lobbyists used two versions of a flyer that criticized the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA): An early version filed with the Department of Justice included a required disclosure of Saudi Arabia’s sponsorship; a version later presented to military veterans did not. Continue reading

Senate Campaign Faces Scrutiny of Strategist’s Work for Saudis

Boston Herald spotlights Holly Robichaud’s engagement in Saudi effort to amend Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

On defensive, Robichaud advances misleading argument about JASTA, makes false claim about VFW, American Legion stances

By Brian P. McGlinchey 

Holly Robichaud

A U.S. Senate campaign faces controversy after the Boston Herald published a story on a key strategist’s participation in a Saudi lobbying campaign against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).

Massachusetts state representative Geoffrey Diehl, who is running for the 2018 Republican nomination to oppose incumbent senator Elizabeth Warren, hired Holly Robichaud to serve as a campaign strategist. 28Pages.org previously reported that Robichaud, a political consultant and columnist for the Boston Herald, registered in October 2016 as an agent of the Saudi government. Continue reading

Vet Says Iowa Official Used Deceit to Recruit Him to Lobby in Saudi Drive Against 9/11 Law

Veteran’s claim: Connie Schmett recruited him to lobby for changes to JASTA, but didn’t disclose Saudi sponsorship of the effort

A gubernatorial appointee to two state boards, Schmett’s endorsement is sought by national presidential candidates

Schmett registered with the DOJ as an agent of the kingdom; Schmett & Associates received $101,500 for services rendered

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Connie Schmett (Facebook photo)

Connie Schmett, a notable figure in Iowa GOP politics and an appointee to two state government boards, recruited a military veteran to travel to Washington to lobby for changes to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)—and he says she withheld the fact that Saudi Arabia was behind the campaign.

In October 2016, Schmett and her husband, Kim, registered with the Department of Justice as agents of the Saudi government working for changes to JASTA under the supervision of lobbying firm Qorvis MSLGROUP. According to a Qorvis disclosure filing, Schmett & Associates received $101,500 for service to the kingdom. Continue reading

Gitmo Judge Blocks 9/11 Defense Attorneys from Viewing 28 Pages

Prosecutors assure military commission that other investigative documents on possible Saudi ties to 9/11 will be given to defense

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Judge James L. Pohl

A judge presiding over the trial of five Guantanamo detainees accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks has denied a defense motion seeking full access to 28 pages on Saudi government links to the attacks found in the 2002 report of a joint congressional intelligence inquiry.

Though the 28 pages were declassified in July 2016, the public version has 97 redactions amounting to about three cumulative pages of material. Defense attorneys wanted to see what’s still hidden from view. Continue reading

Cornyn Condemns Tactics Saudis Used Against 9/11 Justice Law

“This kind of conduct should gall every member of the Senate”

By Brian P. McGlinchey

In a high-profile hearing today, Senator John Cornyn condemned Saudi lobbyists for exploiting U.S. military veterans in their campaign to weaken a law enabling 9/11 family members and survivors to sue the kingdom for its alleged support of the attacks. Continue reading