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

Saudis, Ex-Spies and a DC Socialite: Highlights From Lobbying Firm’s 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

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

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

The Saudi Agents Next Door: Americans Who Cashed in on Campaign to Stop 9/11 Trial

Saudi Arabia spent millions trying to keep 9/11 families and survivors from presenting evidence against the kingdom

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Mike Gibson of Community Strategies Inc

Last October, the Saudi government partnered with Qorvis MSLGROUP to launch a massive, nationwide lobbying effort aimed at undermining a new law that cleared the way for 9/11 families and survivors to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged support of al Qaeda and its hijackers.

Now, a disclosure filing with the Department of Justice gives an indication of the high cost of the effort, and helps shine a light on Americans all across the country hired to execute the kingdom’s campaign to keep evidence of its links to 9/11 out of court. Continue reading