Political intelligence firms gather insider knowledge of upcoming government decisions. Traders, then use this information to trade stock before that information is available to the general public. In the private sector this is patently illegal and is punishable by imprisonment.
For Boehner and Congress, however, this is business as usual.
The Securities and Exchange Commission had been investigating House Ways and Means Committee staffer, Brian for passing along upcoming Medicare decisions to a political intelligence lobbyist. This investigation eventually led to the issuance of a subpoena to Sutter.
Working with Boehner’s blessings, House General Counsel Kerry Kirchner displayed incredible hubris when he filed a brief claiming that such a probe violated the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government. The brief labeled the subpoena a “remarkable fishing expedition for congressional records.” Using Mr. Kirchner’s argument, only Congress could investigate itself. A corrupt Congress would be free from any oversight whatsoever.
Further, Mr. Kirchner’s legal reasoning would prevent Congress from subpoenaing the 30,000 emails Hillary Clinton erased from the time she served as Secretary of State.
Kirchner’s brief further argued, “Communications with lobbyists, of course, are a normal and routine part of Committee information-gathering, there is no room for the SEC to inquire into the Committee’s or Mr. Sutter’s purpose or motives.”
Not so fast Mr. Kirchner. While it’s true that lobbyists meet often with congressional staffers, the meetings are solely intended to provide an opportunity for the lobbyist to pass along information that may benefit their clients. Any passing of proprietary information that may benefit a third party is illegal.
The SEC investigation turned up more. David Berteau, a consultant to Height Analytics simultaneously held the position of vice president for The Center for Strategic and International Studies. Height Analytics is in the business of political intelligence while The Center for Strategic and International Studies is an important Washington think tank. Berteau has since moved on to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness. One is left to question how valuable the information Mr. Berteau collects there will be on the open market? And, how much of it might find its way into John Boehner’s pocket?
That stories like these receive so little coverage in the mainstream media only serves to highlight how the corporate owned media protects their own.