Ex-Spies, a DC Socialite and More: Latest Qorvis-Saudi Report to DOJ

Figure in vet lobbying scandal returns to collect another $79,000; Qorvis rubs elbows with secretive opposition research firm

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Lobbying and public relations firm Qorvis MSLGROUP has filed its latest semiannual disclosure forms with the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agent Registration Act office, covering the period from October 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

Qorvis plays a central role in the expansive Saudi effort to influence not only U.S. foreign policy and public opinion, but even the American judicial system. Here are some points of interest from the new filing, which 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

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

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

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