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Covington has unparalleled experience representing corporations and individuals in congressional investigations. Our experiences span the full scope of investigations – from discrete requests resolved with little public attention, to some of the most high-profile and contentious investigations and oversight hearings posing significant legal and reputational risks for global companies. Our clients have included many Fortune 100 and 500 companies, and we have prepared numerous CEOs and other senior corporate officers to testify before congressional oversight panels.
Covington’s congressional investigations practice provides clients with an exceptional blend of political and legal skills. Our practitioners are steeped in the unique attributes of congressional investigations, which often require strategies and considerations that are different from traditional litigation or other government investigations. Our political skills are matched by our deep substantive expertise in the laws and regulations affecting major industry segments, which permits us to ensure that political strategies in Congress do not invite unintended collateral legal or regulatory risks. Our lawyers are particularly adept at balancing the legal, public relations, regulatory, and reputational risks associated with congressional investigations, particularly when congressional investigations are accompanied by parallel criminal or civil litigation risks. In large investigations, we frequently serve as our clients’ key advisers, ensuring that the activities of public relations consultants, in-house lawyers, outside litigation counsel, and others are well coordinated and managed.
Our congressional investigations practice is bipartisan and includes several former senior government officials with deep experience in congressional and other government investigations, including former Senator Jon Kyl, former Congressman Howard Berman, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, former Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, and former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Stuart Eizenstat. Our broader team includes veterans of the House and Senate, the White House, and numerous federal agencies.
We have experience handling investigations by nearly every committee in Congress, including the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Ethics Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Special Committee on Aging, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ethics Committee, the House Financial Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, among others.
We represented a world-leading consumer products manufacturer in an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding high-profile recalls of over-the-counter medicines. The investigation included multiple interviews, tens of thousands of documents produced to Congress, and two major hearings, including one at which the company’s chairman and CEO testified.
We represented a major financial services company in congressional investigations concerning the documentation of residential foreclosures. Conducted by the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on the Judiciary, the investigations included document requests, interrogatory responses, and an oversight hearing. A significant complicating factor was widespread private and state attorneys general litigation on the same subject matter.
We represented a global manufacturer of advanced medical devices in concurrent investigations in the House and Senate regarding reported injuries to patients. The investigation included parallel regulatory inquiries and significant litigation risks.
We represented a university system and its medical school in a lengthy investigation by the Senate Finance Committee and resolved the matter without a hearing.
We represented a politically active nonprofit entity in an investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations as part of the Subcommittee’s review of political activity by tax-exempt organizations.
We represented a major federal contractor in an oversight hearing conducted by the Senate Armed Services Committee concerning the contractor’s activities supporting overseas military operations.
We represented a major pharmaceutical company in a lengthy investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding alleged off-label marketing of pharmaceutical products. The investigation included dozens of requests and resulted in the production of tens of thousands of documents.
We defended a former NASA official and a former White House official in investigations by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Judiciary Committee regarding alleged political interference with the work of government environmental scientists.
We represented the University of California in an intense and wide-ranging investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations into alleged fraud and mismanagement at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The investigation involved more than two dozen witness interviews and culminated in three days of hearings. At the conclusion of the investigation, the University retained its contract to manage the Laboratory.
We represented the Republican National Committee in connection with investigations by the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding the dismissal of U.S. attorneys and the hosting of e-mail accounts for White House officials.
We represented a major biotechnology company in a congressional investigation by the Senate Finance Committee concerning the price of its breakthrough drug.
An oil and gas company and its executive in connection with congressional hearing to examine absence of “price trigger” conditions on royalty relief for deepwater OCS leases.
We have represented clients in numerous other congressional investigations and oversight hearings, including a major internet services company in an investigation of its practices abroad, a chemical manufacturer in an investigation of the safety of its products, an insurance company in a hearing on the federal long term care insurance program, a financial services company in an investigation of credit card terms, and drug companies in investigations concerning such matters as payments to doctors, marketing practices, generic approvals, drug importation, and drug safety.
October 5, 2016, Law360
August 19, 2016, Washington Internet Daily
Rob Kelner is quoted in a Washington Internet Daily article regarding the possible implications of the Backpage decision on Congress’ future subpoena power. According to Kelner, if the D.C. Circuit squashes the subpoena, “that would have a very dramatic effect, I think, because it's so extraordinarily rare for a congressional subpoena ever to be quashed under ...
August 15, 2016, Law360
September 14, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC, September 14, 2015 - The National Law Journal has named Phyllis Jones and Daniel Suleiman among its “D.C. Rising Stars.” The list recognizes Washington, D.C.’s “40 most promising lawyers age 40 and under.”
Ms. Jones focuses on complex legal issues facing clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Her wide-ranging litigation ...
February 23, 2015, Law360
Covington's Dennis Auerbach, David Zionts, Philip Levitz and Sonia Lahr-Pastor are mentioned in this article regarding their representation of the plaintiffs who won an injunction last week against the Obama administration's alleged policy of detaining immigrant families seeking asylum as a form of deterrence.
Dennis Auerbach of Covington & Burling LLP, who is ...
February 12, 2015, The Washington Post
Covington's Tony Herman is quoted regarding Tyler Harber, a Republican political operative pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally directing a political action committee to buy ads to help a congressional candidate whose campaign he managed.
“The prudent course here is for candidates and campaign managers to take it as a signal,” said Tony Herman, a former ...
September 2, 2014, The Washington Post
Covington partner Rob Kelner spoke to The Washington Post on political mega-donors since the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
"Even though the additional millions flowing to candidates and parties “is real money, in the grand scheme of our campaign finance system, it’s background noise,” said Robert Kelner, a Washington campaign finance ...
March 28, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2013 — Lanny A. Breuer, most recently the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, is returning to Covington & Burling as Vice Chair of the firm.
Mr. Breuer’s practice will encompass a wide range of civil and criminal litigation matters, as well as governmental and internal investigations. ...
October 6, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 2011 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Smith to of counsel effective October 1, 2011.
Mr. Smith provides strategic and legal advice on matters that involve interactions with the U.S. government. His practice focuses on the development and execution of government relations initiatives that build ...
September 2, 2011, Covington E-Alert
December 6, 2010, Bloomberg Law Reports
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