Trump’s former campaign manager quits lobbying job one day after Public Citizen calls for investigation.
After the 2016 election, Corey Lewandowski – Donald Trump’s campaign manager – established two new political consulting firms: Washington East West Political Consulting and Avenue Strategies. He and his partners controlled them.
According to Politico, Washington East West Political Consulting envisioned itself as an international consulting firm seeking to represent Eastern European governments and other foreign interests in the United States. The company boasted that it had the ability to leverage its “trusted relations with the U.S. Administration” and promised to arrange “meetings with well-established figures,” including Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and “key members of the U.S. Administration.”
However, the company was not registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Nor was Lewandowski registered as a foreign agent under FARA.
The second lobbying group, Avenue Strategies, was affiliated with the first, was registered under the Lobbying and Disclosure Act (LDA) and represented several paying clients before the federal government, including Puerto Rico.
Despite not being a registered lobbyist, Lewandowski appeared to be undertaking substantial activities that aimed to influence American public policy for both international and domestic interests, and he routinely showed up at the White House.
Public Citizen filed a complaint on May 3, 2017, with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Secretary of the U.S. Senate and the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives and urged them to investigate Lewandowski for violating the FARA and LDA. We also notified the media, which reported on our complaint.
A day later, Lewandowski quit Avenue. He claimed he had no affiliation or involvement with Washington East West, according to Politico. That firm dissolved the same day Public Citizen filed its complaint.
Corey Lewandowski is pushing the bounds of lobbying rules (not to mention Donald Trump’s so-called ‘drain-the-swamp’ pledge) by pitching foreign politicians on retaining him by offering access to Trump, Pence and other top administration officials. Despite the fact that this has become the new normal in the Trump era, we cannot acclimatize, and Public Citizen will work to hold him accountable.Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs