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Ashcroft Group

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The Ashcroft Group, LLC is a Washington, DC-based lobbying firm founded by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in May 2005.

The focus of the firm is "strategic consulting, security and internal investigative services, and crisis counseling," for countries, corporations and industry and political associations, reported The Hill.[1] O'Dwyer's PR Daily described the firm's anticipated work as to advise "countries on how to beef up law enforcement capabilities and best combat terror" and "U.S. companies on homeland security and governance issues."[2]

Profiting from 9/11

Ashcroft Group lobbyist Juleanna Glover Weiss remarked of Ashcroft, "The fact that he was attorney general during such a pivotal time in the nation's history, he is more associated with crisis leadership, personal integrity and security and law enforcement than probably any other attorney general in history." [1]

The head of the political watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics said Ashcroft is "clearly trading off the whole anti-terrorism and 9/11 aspect of his being attorney general. ... One of the thing's he's going to be selling is his access to this administration. He'll be perceived as having the inside track. I think he'll probably find it very profitable." [2]

"Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, said that because Mr. Ashcroft had worked only in government, 'he cannot claim to have any business expertise. ... What is he selling,' Ms. Brian asked, 'other than connections and knowledge of how to game the system from being attorney general?'" [3]

Clients

"Business is brisk for former Attorney General John Aschroft’s new lobbying firm, but it is unclear just whom he represents," reported The Hill in October 2005. Glover Weiss told the newspaper that the only client the firm could name publicly is the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts. She "declined to say whom it is advising on homeland security, antitrust, corporate governance, intellectual property and money-laundering issues," due to nondisclosure agreements. [4]

In January 2006, news stories identified LTU Technologies and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as new Ashcroft Group clients. LTU Technologies is a France-based company involved in email monitoring and "content-based search, retrieval and classification of images and videos," seeking "to land homeland security contrats." [5]

IAI wants to "secure the U.S. government’s approval to sell a weapons system to the South Korean Air Force." The Hill explained, "U.S. law requires Israel, and any other country seeking to resell American military technology, to secure approval from the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls." The Israeli aerospace company is competing with U.S.-based Boeing for the South Korean contract, which will be awarded by May 2006. [6]

The Hill also named Oracle Corporation and ChoicePoint, "a company that sells data to police and federal law-enforcement agencies," as Ashcroft Group clients, based on public records. [7]

In February 2006, O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that eBay had hired the Ashcroft Group, "to help on patent reform issues." The story also noted that Oracle paid Ashcroft $220,000, just for work done from October 18 to December 31, 2005. [8]

In June 2006, O'Dwyer's reported that General Dynamics had hired Ashcroft on "trade and defense issues." Juleanna Glover Weiss, Lori Day Sharp and Willie Gaynor are working on the General Dynamics account. General Dynamics "has been a key beneficiary of the Iraq invasion, according to a June 13 Washington Times profile. A 'steady stream of orders from the U.S. Army, which now total about 25 percent of the company's sales-provides a solid base that will continue for year,' said the WT. The company's net sales have doubled to $21B since '00." [9]

In August 2006, O'Dwyer's reported that Ashcroft was representing Dulles Research Corporation, "a firm involved in the counter-terrorism and homeland security markets," before the Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security. [10]

In March 2007, John Ashcroft wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and all members of the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees, about the proposed merger between satellite radio companies XM and Sirius. The National Association of Broadcasters had "retained" him to do so, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Ashcroft's letter stated, in part, that "terrestrial radio stations should not be considered part of the satellite radio market for the purposes of the review of the current merger because they are not providing substitute content." The argument (which mirrored NAB's) is the major point of those opposing the merger. [11]

In July 2009, the Rockefeller Family Fund "retained former Attorney General's John Ashcroft's lobbying venture to work Congress on its behalf," reported O'Dwyer's. The Ashcroft Group is representing the Fund on the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill and "the Clear Act (Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal), which is a favorite of Republicans. President Obama wants to strip funding for that bill. That cash is used to reimburse local governments for outlays connected with the round-up and detention of illegal immigrants." [3]

Staff

Contact information

The Ashcroft Group, LLC
1399 New York Avenue, N.W.
Suite 950
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202 942-0202
FAX: 202 942-0216
Email: info AT ashcroftgroupllc.com
Website: http://www.ashcroftgroupllc.com
News Links: http://www.ashcroftgroupllc.com/new/News.php

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles

References

  1. Jonathan E, Kaplan, Ashcroft joins K Street legions, The Hill, May 1, 2005
  2. Jack O'Dwyer, Newsletter, O'Dwyer's Public Relations, May 11, 2005
  3. "Rockefellers Reach Out to Ashcroft," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), July 7, 2009.