DOJ Fails to Pursue Allegations of Saudi Lobbying Misconduct

U.S. military veterans say Qorvis Communications tricked them into unknowingly lobbying on behalf of Saudi Arabia

Campaign against law enabling 9/11 victims to sue kingdom used unregistered agents, failed to provide required disclosures

By Brian P. McGlinchey

In March 2017, a group of 9/11 families presented the Department of Justice with 17 pages of detailed allegations that Qorvis Communications had, on behalf of Saudi Arabia, conducted a lobbying campaign against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) characterized by extensive violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Continue reading

Syracuse National Security Program Director Registers as a Saudi Foreign Agent

Former chief of staff to Secretary of State Powell oversees education program for senior national security officials

Congressman Walter Jones: Syracuse situation “should cause major unease for all Americans”

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Bill Smullen 

The director of a national security program at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs has registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as an agent of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 28Pages.org is first to report.

In his registration statement, retired U.S. Army Colonel Bill Smullen, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, indicated he has agreed to provide “public relations support” to the Saudi embassy for compensation initially projected at $8,000. Continue reading

Kim and Connie Schmett’s Saudi Scandal Prompts New Iowa Laws

State officials banned from working for foreign governments

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Connie Schmett

In the wake of reporting by 28Pages.org and Associated Press that two Iowa officials worked for Saudi Arabia against a law that enabled 9/11 victims to proceed with a civil suit against the kingdom, the state has enacted legislation barring state officials from working for foreign governments.

Connie Schmett and her husband Kim Schmett are gubernatorial appointees to three state panels. Connie sits on the Health Facilities Council and the Cultural Trust Board of Trustees, and Kim chairs the Employment Appeal Board. Continue reading

In Blow to Kingdom, Judge Rejects Saudi Effort to Escape 9/11 Suit

Discovery phase will focus on two Saudis in southern California accused of aiding hijackers who attacked Pentagon

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Flight 77 Hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi

U.S. District Judge George Daniels has rejected Saudi Arabia’s motion to be removed as a defendant in a civil suit in which thousands of 9/11 family members, survivors and insurers allege Saudi government officials and agents supported the al Qaeda plot that killed 2,996 people, injured more than 6,000 others and caused billions of dollars in damage to businesses and property.

From a Saudi public relations perspective, the timing of the decision is particularly inopportune: Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is in the midst of an aggressive two-week tour of the United States aimed at rehabilitating the kingdom’s image. Continue reading

Iowa Governor Seeks Review of Officials Who Worked for Saudis

Ethics board to investigate Kim and Connie Schmett’s work for Saudi Arabia while they served in Iowa government

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Governor Kim Reynolds

Iowa governor Kim Reynolds yesterday announced that her office has asked the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board to review the case of two current state officials who did political work for Saudi Arabia at the same time they held important government positions.

Connie Schmett and her husband Kim Schmett earned $101,500 working for Saudi Arabia against a federal law that cleared the way for 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom for its alleged support of the September 11 plot. Continue reading