Corey Lewandowski works for pay-day lenders.
One Of Lewandowski Strategic Advisors First Clients Was Community Choice Financial, A Leader In The Payday Lending Industry, Which Fought Efforts By The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau To Limit Loan Practices That Consumer Advocates Called Abusive. “Mr. Lewandowski started his new business, Lewandowski Strategic Advisors, in May, according to corporate documents filed in Delaware, eight days after he announced he would part ways with the Washington lobbying firm he helped found, Avenue Strategies. […] Among the first new clients of Lewandowski Strategic Advisors is an Ohio-based company called Community Choice Financial. The company is a leader in the payday lending industry, which has faced heightened federal scrutiny in recent years. Payday lenders have energetically fought efforts by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to limit loan practices that consumer advocates have called abusive. Community Choice Financial’s chief executive, William E. Saunders Jr., once referred to the bureau as ‘the great Darth Vader’ of the federal government.” [New York Times, 8/1/17]
Video: Lewandowski Suggesting On NBC’s Meet The Press That Trump Fire CFPB Head, Richard Cordray. [NBC, Meet The Press, 7/30/17]
New York Times: Lewandowski, Who Has A Keen Understanding Of Trump’s Media Tastes And Habits, Used An Appearance On Meet The Press To Advance Community Choice Financial’s Interests, Calling For Trump To Fire CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, Who Had Led Efforts To Pass New Payday Lending Requirements. “In an email, Mr. Lewandowski said he was not a lobbyist. ‘I don’t lobby and I don’t intend to lobby — ever,’ he wrote. But Mr. Lewandowski, who is known for his keen understanding of Mr. Trump’s news media tastes and habits, used an appearance on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday to press his new client’s interests, calling for Mr. Trump to oust the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, an Obama holdover who has led the effort to pass new payday lending requirements. ‘It’s my recommendation to the president of the United States to fire Richard Cordray,’ Mr. Lewandowski said.” [New York Times, 8/1/17]
Lewandowski Criticized A Rule Issued By The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau That Banned Financial Companies From Using Mandatory Arbitration Clauses In Customer Contracts. “But Mr. Lewandowski, who is known for his keen understanding of Mr. Trump’s news media tastes and habits, used an appearance on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday to press his new client’s interests, calling for Mr. Trump to oust the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, an Obama holdover who has led the effort to pass new payday lending requirements. ‘It’s my recommendation to the president of the United States to fire Richard Cordray,’ Mr. Lewandowski said. […] He added a criticism of a new rule issued by the bureau last month that bans financial companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses in customer contracts. The Trump administration has already said it would support congressional efforts to nullify the arbitration rule.” [New York Times, 8/1/17]
July 2017: After Calling On Trump To Fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray, Lewandowski Was Asked If He Had Any Clients That Would Want To See That, And Lewandowski Responded He Had “No Clients Whatsoever” Despite Having Signed A $20,000 A Month Contract With Consumer Choice Financial That Same Month. “But Mr. Lewandowski, who is known for his keen understanding of Mr. Trump’s news media tastes and habits, used an appearance on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday to press his new client’s interests, calling for Mr. Trump to oust the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, an Obama holdover who has led the effort to pass new payday lending requirements. […] Rejecting a question from the ‘Meet the Press’ host, Chuck Todd, about whether he had ‘a client that wants to see’ Mr. Cordray fired, Mr. Lewandowski said: ‘No, no. I have no clients whatsoever.’ He explained his opposition to Mr. Cordray by pointing to a similar position taken by Representative Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who has called on Mr. Trump to dismiss Mr. Cordray. But a draft contract obtained by The Times indicates that in July, after Mr. Lewandowski left Avenue, Community Choice Financial offered him a $20,000-a-month retainer in return for ‘strategic advice and counsel designed to further the goals of Community Choice Financial.’” [New York Times, 8/1/17]
Prior To Signing A $20,000-A-Month Retainer For “Strategic Advice And Counsel” With Community Choice Financial, Lewandowski Had Helped Recruit The Company As A Client For His Lobbying Firm, Avenue Strategies, Which Received $160,000 For Lobbying Work. “But a draft contract obtained by The Times indicates that in July, after Mr. Lewandowski left Avenue, Community Choice Financial offered him a $20,000-a-month retainer in return for ‘strategic advice and counsel designed to further the goals of Community Choice Financial.’ Mr. Lewandowski had previously helped recruit Community Choice Financial as a client for Avenue Strategies, which reported receiving $160,000 for lobbying from the lender, according to congressional disclosure forms.” [New York Times, 8/1/17]
Lewandowski Started Lewandowski Strategic Advisors In May, Which He Registered In Delaware, Eight Days After He Announced He Would Leave The Washington Lobbying Firm He Cofounded, Avenue Strategies. “But his new firm once again puts Mr. Lewandowski at the center of the ethical quandaries surrounding the Trump White House, where the president has given significant access and power to friends and loyalists who are not on the government payroll but work as lobbyists or retain significant outside business interests. […] Mr. Lewandowski started his new business, Lewandowski Strategic Advisors, in May, according to corporate documents filed in Delaware, eight days after he announced he would part ways with the Washington lobbying firm he helped found, Avenue Strategies. Mr. Lewandowski has recently discussed expanding the new firm by adding, among others, two more Trump insiders — the former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie and George Gigicos, who stepped down Monday as Mr. Trump’s White House advance director — according to two associates.” [New York Times, 8/1/17]
Corey Lewandowski works for big oil companies, including the Russian-backed American Ethane Company, Venezuelan state-owned Citgo.
Turnberry Solutions Lobbied For American Ethane Company, An Energy Producer Funded By Russian Billionaires That Was Also Involved With A Chinese Aluminum Company. “A lobbying firm run by former advisors to President Donald Trump is representing American Ethane Company, an energy producer funded by Russian billionaires that is involved with a Chinese aluminum company. Turnberry Solutions, a lobbying group run by former Trump campaign advisor Jason Osborne, has signed American Ethane as a client, according to a new lobbying disclosure form. The filing was posted on the Senate lobbying disclosure website on Tuesday. […]American Ethane touts a contract it signed with the Nanshan Group, an aluminum production company based in China. The development also comes as the Trump administration is engaged in high-stakes trade talks with the Chinese government. […] Turnberry also touts former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and onetime Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke as senior advisors. Zinke resigned from the administration last year amid numerous ethics investigations and complaints, while Lewandowski has reportedly continued to advise Trump from an outside position. The filing lays out the top two foreign investors backing the ethane producer. Konstantin Nikolaev, a Russian billionaire with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion, is listed as an investor with a 30 percent stake in the company.” [CNBC, 2/21/19]
February 2017: Venezuelan Oil Company, Citgo, Hired Lewandowski’s Lobbying Firm For $25,000 A Month. “A firm co-founded by Donald Trump’s initial campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, quietly agreed to lobby for the oil company Citgo as the company, which is owned by the leftist government of Venezuela, was becoming increasingly embroiled in tensions involving the United States, Venezuela and Russia. Officials with Lewandowski’s firm, Avenue Strategies, confirmed that last month it formalized a $25,000-a-month lobbying contract with Citgo. The officials initially told POLITICO that the firm had filed legally required paperwork revealing the contract to the U.S. government on Feb. 20. […]Sources familiar with the contract say that Avenue Strategies was brought on by Citgo to help provide access to the Trump administration amid calls for the U.S. to seize the company’s assets as a way to expand the impact of sanctions against Venezuela. But the revelation of Avenue’s previously unreported contract with Citgo comes at an awkward moment for the company, Lewandowski and the Trump White House. […]And Citgo, the U.S. refining arm of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, is under increasing scrutiny as the Trump administration takes a tougher line against the cash-strapped government of Venezuela, which has been accused of human rights abuses and drug trafficking.” [Politico, 5/3/17]
Lewandowski’s Lobbying Firm, Avenue Strategies, Pitched Citgo, The American Subsidiary Of Venezuela’s State-Owned Oil Company, Eventually Signing Them. “But as companies and countries vied for Trump’s ear over the spring, the new Trump lobbyists found themselves competing with one another as much as with the established Washington firms. Ballard, for example, had explored working for members of the Venezuelan opposition. (‘I’m no world-peace guy,’ he told me, ‘but I think I can help a little bit.’) Lewandowski’s firm, meanwhile, was pitching Citgo, the American subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. (Avenue eventually signed Citgo, and in August the Trump administration would partly exempt the company from a new round of sanctions on the Venezuelan government.)” [New York Times, 8/30/17]
Corey Lewandowski has worked for Serbian nationalists, Azerbaijan, and would work for just about any other foreign interest.
A Lewandowski-Affiliated Lobbying Firm, Twin Rocks Global, Lobbied For A Russian-Back Serbian Nationalist Party In Bosnia, The Alliance Of Independent Social Democrats. “Former Trump campaign aides Jason Osborne and Michael Rubino are setting up a new foreign lobbying firm. The firm will represent a Russian-backed Serbian nationalist party, according to Foreign Agent Registration Act records filed two weeks ago. The filing, first reported by Mother Jones, shows that Osborne and Rubino's new shop, known as Twin Rocks Global LLC, is headquartered in former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's Washington, D.C., townhouse. Osborne and Rubino registered their other lobbying firm, Turnberry Solutions, at the same address earlier this year. […] Osborne and Rubino previously worked as lobbyists for Lewandowski's Avenue Strategies firm. […]The filing states that Osborne and Rubino's new venture will act as a consultant for the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), a Serbian political party in Bosnia that cooperates with the ruling party in Russia, according to ABC.” [The Hill, 8/7/18]
Turnberry Solutions Lobbyists And Lewandowski Founded A Foreign Lobbying Firm, Twin Rocks Global, That Was Headquartered At Lewandowski’s D.C. Town House. “Former Trump campaign aides Jason Osborne and Michael Rubino are setting up a new foreign lobbying firm. The firm will represent a Russian-backed Serbian nationalist party, according to Foreign Agent Registration Act records filed two weeks ago. The filing, first reported by Mother Jones, shows that Osborne and Rubino's new shop, known as Twin Rocks Global LLC, is headquartered in former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's Washington, D.C., townhouse. Osborne and Rubino registered their other lobbying firm, Turnberry Solutions, at the same address earlier this year.” [The Hill, 8/7/18]
2019: Lewandowski Worked As A Senior Adviser At Washington Lobbying Firm, Turnberry Solutions. “Ryan Zinke, who resigned as interior secretary last year amid scandal, is teaming up with Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, to work as senior advisers at Washington lobbying firm Turnberry Solutions. Jason Osborne, a partner at Turnberry, said Lewandowski won’t do any work that would require him to register as a lobbyist, but said that Zinke was likely to do so.” [Politico, 2/13/19]
Lewandowski Was Accompanied To A Conference In Belgrade Serbia By Turnberry Solutions Lobbyists, Mike Rubino And Jason Osborne, Where A Serbian Opposition Leader And Former Foreign Minister Claimed Lewandowski Was Attempting To Broker A Contract For Turnberry To Lobby For The Serbian President, Aleksander Vucic. “Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski showed up in Belgrade, Serbia, on Monday, where he spoke at a roundtable event for business officials on the topic of “America Today.” But his visit raised questions about whether he was also there as a lobbyist—activity Lewandowski has denied doing since the 2016 election—with one prominent local politician accusing Lewandowski of seeking a deal to help Serbia’s president gain access to President Trump. […] Lewandowski was accompanied by Mike Rubino and Jason Osborne, two former Trump campaign aides who are now registered lobbyists for Turnberry Solutions—a firm headquartered in the Capitol Hill townhouse where Lewandowski lives and which his friends have dubbed ‘The Lewandowski Embassy.’ […] A leading member of the Serbian opposition party, Vuk Jeremic, claimed Tuesday that during Lewandowski’s recent visit he was attempting to broker a contract for Turnberry to represent Serbian President Aleksander Vucic in Washington. “He came to Serbia to agree this [deal],” Vuk Jeremic, leader of a the Sebian People’s Party, told a local television station on Tuesday. The lawmaker, a former Serbian foreign minister, also alleged that Lewandowski offered to set up phone calls between the Vucic and President Donald Trump.” [Mother Jones, 4/27/18]
Politico: Lewandowski Touted His Access To Trump, Promising The Azerbaijani Ambassador To The U.S. That He Could Get The Azerbaijani President A Meeting With Trump. “Turnberry is also making overtures to foreign governments, according to a source familiar with the firm. Lewandowski, Rubino and Osborne flew to Poland earlier this month to pitch the Polish government, according to the source. Lewandowski has touted his access to Trump outside his work with Turnberry, too. In a recent conversation with Elin Suleymanov, the Azerbaijani ambassador to the U.S., Lewandowski promised that he could get the Azerbaijani president a meeting with Trump, according to a source familiar with the exchange.” [Politico, 9/22/19]
Lewandowski Actively Sought To Represent Foreign Government And Consult On Overseas Elections, With Members Of His Firm Meeting With Officials In Albania And Kosovo. “Some of Donald Trump’s former campaign hands are rushing to sign lucrative deals with foreign clients, shrugging off their own pledges to avoid foreign lobbying and the president’s vow to ‘drain the swamp.’ Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, whose partner, Barry Bennett, had said last year that their new firm wouldn’t lobby for foreign nations, is among those searching for foreign gold. Lewandowski and Bennett are actively seeking to represent foreign governments and consult on overseas elections, and members of the firm have met in recent weeks with officials from Albania and Kosovo. […] Lewandowski’s firm is one of a handful of upstarts looking to undercut the lobbying giants that for years dominated the market for foreign lobbying work in Washington. They’re betting their experience on Trump’s campaign and relationships with former colleagues now in his administration can woo foreign governments away from more established rivals.” [Politico, 4/3/17]
Members Of Lewandowski’s Lobbying Firm, Avenue Strategies, Had Discussions With Prospective Clients In Africa, Asia, Europe And Latin America. “Lewandowski’s firm, Avenue Strategies, is also stocked with former Trump hands. The firm has hired Ed Brookover and Jason Osborne, who worked as senior advisers on the campaign, as well as Mike Rubino, who oversaw Trump’s campaign in several states, including Virginia. Osborne confirmed the firm had met with officials from Albania and Kosovo. He wouldn’t name other countries but said members of the firm had had discussions with countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. While the firm is open to lobbying for foreign nations in Washington, Osborne said, initial efforts have been weighted toward working on foreign elections, ‘taking what we learned on this campaign for Trump’ and applying it overseas. ‘We’re open to doing quite a number of things for foreign governments,’ Osborne said. ‘A lot of our focus right now has been on how we can help them in their own countries.’” [Politico, 4/3/17]
Lewandowski’s Lobbying Firm, Avenue Strategies, Reached Out To The State Department On Behalf Of The Indiana Government TO Try To Arrange A Meeting Between India’s Foreign Secretary And Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson. “And then there were the promises that Lewandowski and his Avenue colleagues made to potential clients outside the United States. Although he and Bennett told reporters when they founded the firm that they had no plans to work for any foreign governments, that approach was quickly abandoned. Since January, Lewandowski or other Avenue employees pitched the firm's services to multiple foreign embassies in Washington and, according to sources, reached out to State Department officials on behalf of the Indian government to try to arrange a meeting between that country's foreign secretary and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. […] Lewandowski and Bennett also traveled to the Middle East and Central America to drum up business.” [GQ, 5/17/17]
Lewandowski Owned Another Lobbying Firm, Washington East West Political Strategies, That Was A Vehicle For Overseas Consulting And Had Circulated At Least One Written Proposal Promising To Arrange Meetings With Trump And Other Administration Officials. “Proximity was proving an especially mixed blessing for Lewandowski. A stream of news stories had detailed promises he was supposedly making to clients, which he mostly denied — not just phone calls with Trump but also visits with White House officials and even access to Trump’s Twitter account. In late April, Politico reported that Lewandowski and Bennett also owned another, separate company called Washington East West Political Strategies. This new firm, a vehicle for overseas consulting, had circulated at least one written proposal promising to arrange meetings with Trump and other administration officials, seeming to undercut Lewandowski’s earlier denials.” [New York Times, 8/30/17]
Washington East West Political Strategies Had Pitched Albania’s Socialist Prime Minister, Edi Rama, As A Client. “In late April, Politico reported that Lewandowski and Bennett also owned another, separate company called Washington East West Political Strategies. This new firm, a vehicle for overseas consulting, had circulated at least one written proposal promising to arrange meetings with Trump and other administration officials, seeming to undercut Lewandowski’s earlier denials. I later obtained a copy of the proposal, which named the potential client: Edi Rama, Albania’s Socialist prime minister. The new firm — or as Bennett later explained, a business associate in Europe, acting without authorization — had pitched opposing candidates in the same campaign.” [New York Times, 8/30/17]
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