Congressional Investigations

Businesses accepting CARES Act loans and grants will face careful scrutiny from Congress on their use of relief funds. We provide clients with trusted guidance throughout any oversight investigation.

Our Approach

Congress is taking unprecedented steps to shore up the economy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Nixon Peabody predicts this infusion of funds will come with an increase in Congressional investigations. We offer decades of experience in federal oversight matters—a critical advantage for clients involved in a complex and unfamiliar process. Our attorneys have played key roles in many high-profile inquiries, from the Whitewater Committee to the Impeachment Inquiry into President Trump.

Often, companies facing oversight actions must navigate parallel proceedings—inquiries from multiple Congressional committees or federal agencies, Department of Justice (DOJ) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions, criminal proceedings, and follow-on litigation.

We guide clients’ engagement with Congressional investigators from the start: responding to inquiries from committee staff, managing information production, assessing jurisdictional and practical implications of overlapping oversight committees, analyzing the impact of witness selection, all the way through providing statements and testimony. We provide key advice and trusted guidance so clients can approach oversight inquiries with confidence and purpose, and achieve a satisfactory resolution.

Our services:

  • Responding to Congressional inquiries and tailoring the response strategy based on timelines, political context, resource constraints, and overall goals of a given inquiry
  • Negotiating the scope of inquiries
  • Managing overlapping investigations
  • Producing documents and narrowing the impact of overbroad document requests
  • Preparing clients for public statements, staff interviews, and public testimony
  • Ensuring that witnesses are prepared to assert rights and privileges
  • Navigating privilege and confidentiality issues
  • Addressing whistleblower complaints
  • Devising government affairs strategies
  • Ensuring that the congressional investigation response aligns with a client’s litigation posture, public affairs needs, or legislative and regulatory goals
  • Assessing follow-on state impacts

Our experience:

Our congressional investigation experience includes Nixon Peabody attorneys who have:

  • Served as chief counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, leading the Whitewater investigation of President Clinton’s dealing with the Madison Guarantee Trust
  • Served as chief counsel to Senate Select Committee on Vietnam POW/MIA investigations, leading to the normalization of relations with Vietnam following the Vietnam War
  • Represented a National Security Council attorney in the House Intelligence Committee investigation of the Trump impeachment inquiry, successfully avoiding public testimony through careful negotiations with counsel for the House and the White House
  • Represented a witness in the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election (Mueller Investigation)
  • Represented a multi-national pharmaceutical company in responding to a congressional request for documents and written information in the context of parallel United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) and DOJ investigations
  • Represented a potential witness in an ongoing confidential inquiry by the Senate Permanent Select Committee on Investigations
  • Served on a team defending a major pharmaceutical company in an investigation concerning the suspected inflation of certain drug prices in advance of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • Offered testimony before the Senate and House Oversight Committee investigation resulting from service as Chief Prosecutor in the campaign finance investigation of the 1996 presidential election
  • Served as executive branch agency counsel, preparing statements, document productions, presentations, and witnesses for numerous Congressional investigations and hearings.
  • Served as Senior Aide to House Rules Committee Chairman

Managing Risks That Come with Federal Funds

Corporate Compliance Insights | April 17, 2020

NP’s Christopher Hotaling, Adam Tarosky, Scott O’Connell and Colin Missett authored this article detailing key considerations for businesses to consider, given that funds under the CARES Act come with associated responsibilities for recipients, creating potential criminal and civil liability if not properly handled.

Employers see strings attached in $500B CARES Act relief

Law360 | April 03, 2020

Washington, D.C. Government Investigations and White-Collar Defense partner Adam Tarosky discussed the possible compliance issues that may arise for businesses accepting government funds as part of the CARES Act.

U.S. corporate crisis bailouts may prove bonanza for insider trading, new study warns

Reuters | March 26, 2020

Boston co-office managing partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, a partner in the Complex Commercial Disputes group, provides insight on a possible uptick in SEC enforcement activity in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and the new federal stimulus package.

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