Senator’s query prompts law firm to quit ‘political intelligence’ work
Posted Apr 22, 2013 7:25 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough
Greenberg Traurig has said it will stop working with so-called political intelligence firms after a U.S. senator questioned whether one of the law firm's lobbyists obtained and shared confidential information on Medicare.
In a statement provided to Bloomberg, Greenberg Traurig said it "concluded that providing government relations services to an entity in the ‘political intelligence’ area may lead to misunderstanding and unintended use of those services, even when compliant with legal and ethical standards."
Jill Perry, a firm spokeswoman, added that Greenberg "will not represent such firms in the future."
U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is investigating whether government information was leaked and questioned a chain of events in which a Greenberg Traurig lobbyist discussed a possible rate change with Height Analytics LLC, an investor firm that provides political intelligence, or analysis of information about government decisions, Bloomberg reports.
Last week both health insurer Humana and Height announced they had cut ties with Greenberg Traurig after Grassley said he was reviewing the situation, Bloomberg reports in a separate story.
Height has maintained it did nothing wrong and that its analysis was based on sound research. Greenberg Traurig has also said it has done nothing wrong.
"The firm and its shareholders had no financial connection with Height’s activities and Height has acknowledged using a variety of sources before issuing its alert," Greenberg spokeswoman Perry told Bloomberg. "We have found no information that any of our shareholders had access to any material confidential government information."