One of the top Republican congressional staffers on the Benghazi investigation founded a consulting firm comprised of numerous former Clinton aides and a former CIA director accused of lying to Congress about the attack, Fox News reported Monday.
J. Michael Allen is the founder and managing director of Beacon Global Strategies. He previously served as the staff director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by GOP Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan and perhaps the most important panel investigating Benghazi.
Allen’s new business partners at Beacon include:
- Philippe Reines, a dyed-in-the-wool Clinton hatchet man who worked for Clinton from 2002 until founding Beacon
- Andrew Shapiro, a former top State Department official (under Clinton) and senior policy adviser to Clinton
- Josh Kirshner, a former top State Department official under Clinton who also worked for her as a Senate aide in 2006
- Ashley Woolheater, who previously led a team “responsible for crafting and executing the strategic media goals of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” at the State Department
- Jeremy Bash, a former chief of staff to Leon Panetta at the Defense Department and CIA under President Obama
- Julianne Smith, a former top aide to Vice President Joe Biden
- Sarah Davey, a former aide to Michelle Obama who helped craft the “Let’s Move!” initiative
- Meredith Steen, a low-level Democratic aide who interned for Democrat James Moran
Eight colleagues. All Democrats. Four worked in senior positions under Clinton, the other three at the Obama White House.
The Fox News report by Catherine Herridge notes that one month after Allen interviewed Morell about the Benghazi attack in May 2013, Beacon approached him to hire him. Allen was then one of the most senior GOP officials on the issue and Morell the deputy director at the CIA.
A representative at Beacon told Fox that no conflict of interest existed because Morell was approached to be hired after he had already conducted the interview.