Now that legislative leaders in California have hired law firm Covington & Burling and Eric Holder to offer legal counsel to the state during Donald Trump’s presidency, it is worth noting a few facts about the high-profile firm the former attorney general helps lead.
1. Eric Holder made millions working at Covington & Burling before being tasked to prosecute big bank executives responsible for the 2008 economic collapse.
After serving in the Bill Clinton DOJ, Holder spent nearly a decade at Covington & Burling giving counsel to the firm’s top-tier finance clients. From 2001 until he became Obama’s attorney general, Holder made more than 4.5 million dollars in compensation at Covington & Burling. The firm’s clients included JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America–the very big banks Obama blamed for the financial collapse.
Indeed, these Covington clients are also the same financial institutions against which Obama’s Holder-led DOJ failed to file a single criminal charge for their involvement in the 2008 financial crisis.
2. Holder’s DOJ issued a last-minute ruling in 2011 that reaped millions for clients of his former law firm Covington & Burling.
On December 23, 2011, the Holder-led DOJ issued a ruling legalizing non-sports betting via the Internet.
The Holder’s DOJ’s surprise ruling produced massive windfall profits for online lottery and gambling giants, many of whom were represented by Covington & Burling.
As Breitbart News reported:
In 2006, Lottomatica acquired GTECH Holdings Corporation in a $4.8 billion deal. The lawyer representing Lottomatica was Jack Bodner, an attorney at Eric Holder’s law firm, Covington & Burling. Furthermore, the chairman of GTECH, which kept its name after the acquisition and is now a subsidiary of Lottomatica, is Donald Sweitzer. Mr. Sweitzer is a major Democratic Party donor. Since 1990, Sweitzer has donated $136,265 to Democratic candidates. Mr. Sweitzer was also the political director of the Democratic National Committee during President Bill Clinton’s first term and the former finance director of the Democratic National Committee. When Eric Holder was Barack Obama’s campaign co-chairman, Sweitzer donated $4,000 to Obama’s inauguration. GTECH also has its own 2012 political action committee (PAC), with $80,828 in total receipts.
Then there is the case of Scientific Games, whose stock nearly doubled after the DOJ’s ruling. On its board of directors sits Francis Townsend, a former senior official at Department of Justice. According to the Chicago Tribune, Ms. Townsend “worked closely with [Eric] Holder in the Clinton administration Justice Department.” Despite having served under Republican Administrations, Ms. Townsend was so fond of Eric Holder that she actually testified at his Senate confirmation hearing as a character witness on Holder’s behalf.
3. Disgraced Democratic Governor Jon Corzine’s MF Global was a client of Eric Holder’s former law firm, Covington & Burling.
Covington & Burling represented MF Global, the now-defunct financial services firm whose former CEO Jon Corzine oversaw the disappearance of $1 billion in client funds. MF Global owed Covington $114,275.55 “for services rendered prior to Oct. 31, 2011,” the day MF Global filed for its bankruptcy protection, a Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report confirmed.
Corzine, a former bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign, had several crony connections to Holder, Breitbart revealed:
The attorney representing MF Global Treasurer Edith O’Brien is Reid Weingarten, Eric Holder’s “best friend” and his own personal attorney. Weingarten and Holder also co-founded a non-profit together, the See Forever Foundation.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh is the trustee overseeing MF Global’s bankruptcy. Freeh was a character witness at Holder’s Senate confirmation hearing. Freeh also previously retained Holder to do legal work when he was General Counsel for MBNA America Bank in Wilmington, Delaware.
4. Holder’s DOJ expanded the use of an anti-bribery law that ostensibly funneled top-tier clients to Covington & Burling.
With Holder at the helm, the Obama administration, in 2009, began using an obscure anti-bribery law, called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), to prosecute companies headed by top Republican donors, including Koch Industries, News Corporation, and Hewlett-Packard.
Government Accountability Institute President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer explained in great detail in his New York Times bestseller Extortion how Holder, former DOJ Criminal Division head-turned Covington lawyer Lanny Breuer, and the Obama DOJ increased (FCPA) enforcement actions over 65 percent, compared to the Bush administration.
“DOJ tells companies they must hire a law firm to ‘monitor’ their FCPA compliance, which can cost up to $10 million a year,” Schweizer told Breitbart News. “This creates a huge business opportunity for Covington & Burling, especially since Breuer is on the outside at Covington and Holder is on the inside at DOJ.”
Indeed, the firm’s website says, “Covington lawyers have a unique command of anti-corruption laws, in part due to our role in helping draft the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977.”
“For the first 30 years of the FCPA, the Department of Justice brought just two to three cases a year against companies,” said Schweizer. “In 2009, the Obama Justice Department sent the number of investigations soaring to at least 120.”
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson.