When the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2019, Democrats will take control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in eight years and will gain the ability to launch a new wave of congressional investigations and oversight. We expect a major focus of these investigations to be issues related to ethics, conflicts of interest, campaign contributions and corruption. In particular, Democratic leaders have already indicated interest in exploring the following topics:
While the primary focus of these ethics-related investigations will be the administration itself, the new wave of congressional investigations and oversight will almost certainly also entangle private individuals and businesses. Companies that are swept up in investigations and oversight can expect significant expense, reputational scrutiny, and the potential for legal exposure.
Companies should use the time before the new Congress begins in January to assess their exposure and mitigate potential risks associated with congressional investigations and oversight. In particular, companies should consider taking the following steps:
Holland & Knight is well suited to handle ethics-related investigations and collateral matters. Our Political Law practice is seamlessly integrated with our Congressional Investigations team, and our Political Law team members have deep experience with federal ethics and conflict-of-interest rules, campaign finance and lobbying regulation, the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, and related federal regimes.
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