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

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

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

NY Tea Party Leader Aided Saudi Drive to Change 9/11 Justice Law

Stephen Flanagan, founder of Long Island-based Conservative Society for Action, says he didn’t know it was a Saudi operation

By Brian P. McGlinchey

Stephen Flanagan

Stephen Flanagan, a Long Island Tea Party leader who chaired a 2010 Republican Senate campaign, used his organization’s platform to aid a Saudi-led drive to alter the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)—but says he wasn’t told he was doing so on behalf of the kingdom accused of facilitating the 9/11 attacks.

Flanagan is the founder and executive director of Conservative Society for Action, and was the focus of a lengthy 2011 Politico profile on the Tea Party movement in New York. Continue reading