Congressional investigations can be directed at any company, at any time, presenting serious risks to individuals and businesses across all industries and government sectors. These investigations are often broad in scope and frequently draw in individuals and related organizations, not just the targeted company or agency.
Buckley represents entities, officers, directors, and public officials in formal and informal congressional investigations scrutinizing business practices in the financial services industry, corporate actions, and performing oversight of government actors, their agencies, and private industry.
Congressional hearings are governed by their own procedures that differ from judicial procedures and can present significant challenges for clients called upon to cooperate or appear. Moreover, these investigations are often conducted simultaneously with other government investigations or civil litigation, and routinely draw media attention.
The firm responds to congressional inquiries and communicates with committee staff to try to minimize the direct and collateral consequences that can flow from these investigations, with an eye toward any companion litigation and reputational risks. We also prepare our clients for public hearings, which are substantially different from depositions or even court testimony. Our team has helped clients navigate congressional investigations involving a broad array of subjects, including anti-money-laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance, consumer protection, ethics, corporate governance, political scandals, and securities law issues, as well as assisting government officials in oversight investigations.
Our approach to these investigations is informed by our deep experience in representing clients in administrative proceedings and high-profile criminal investigations, and is enhanced by several of our attorneys’ service as senior counsel to various congressional committees. As a result, we provide our clients with effective and comprehensive approaches, including media strategy, tailored to the unique challenges presented by congressional investigations initiated in tandem with parallel civil and criminal enforcement investigations, actions by federal and state agencies, and or class action and complex civil litigation.
Topic Spotlight: Assistance in responding to government oversight of pandemic relief
The federal government’s financial response to the Covid-19 pandemic is measured in trillions of dollars, and the intensity of oversight related to that response reflects this unprecedented commitment. All involved in the government’s response, particularly financial services providers, should expect increased scrutiny of how those dollars have been and will be spent.
Buckley’s white collar, enforcement, congressional investigations, class actions, complex civil litigation, and False Claims Act & FIRREA teams are prepared to assist with government and congressional inquiries, examinations, investigations, and government and private party litigation that arise from the pandemic response. We work closely with our financial services regulatory practices to combine the firm’s core substantive experience with our deep knowledge of government investigations and litigation of all kinds.
Topic Spotlight: Inspector general investigations
More than 70 inspectors general throughout federal agencies and other governmental entities have the power to issue subpoenas, coordinate with civil enforcement agencies, make referrals to and work with criminal prosecutors, issue public reports, and liaise with Congress. These investigations and potential enforcement actions can significantly strain resources, impede normal business activity, and cause reputational damage.
Buckley regularly guides clients through these inquiries and investigations, including those triggered by or involving whistleblowers, as well as handles the civil and criminal enforcement actions and congressional inquiries that arise from IG investigations.
"Some lies matter more than others: Why Congress should consider a 'false statement misdemeanor'" by Preston Burton, Paige Ammons, Bree Murphy, Jackson Hagen (Law.com)
The Department of Justice’s attempted abandonment of the Michael Flynn prosecution has sparked troubling and conflicting questions of political interference, prosecutorial indiscretion and judicial overreach. But a difficult question at the heart of the matter has gone begging: whether there are...Articles
"Watching Amazon—How a Hill investigation can morph into criminal inquiry" by Bradley A. Marcus (Bloomberg Law)
Amazon’s regulatory headache became a migraine in May when the House Committee on the Judiciary notified Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that the company’s statements to Congress about its business practices “appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious.” The committee called on Bezos...Articles
"CARES Act puts inspectors general back in the spotlight" by Daniel R. Alonso, Preston Burton, & Meredith Leeson (New York Law Journal)
Federal Inspectors General—the nation’s watchdogs over government agencies and government programs—are back in the news. First, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act , received close attention not only for its $2 trillion infusion of taxpayer dollars into the U.S. economy, but also...Articles
"CARES congressional oversight: Scope and structure" by Preston Burton (Bloomberg Law)
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed in March 2020, enacted an unprecedented level of emergency government spending to provide public health relief and stabilize an economy damaged by the pandemic, and included oversight provisions to monitor how the $2 trillion is spent...Articles
"Op-ed: Prepare for the coronavirus scams: Learning from post-9/11 fraud" by Daniel R. Alonso (Daily News)
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Beatrice Kaufman sat in her Hamptons house watching the Twin Towers collapse. Although she lived and worked in Manhattan, her 6,000-square-foot apartment was being renovated, so she stayed at her country home instead. But that did not stop her from filing papers...Articles
"Less isn’t always more: 1001(a)(1) Concealment charges in voluntary disclosure submissions" by Paige Ammons and Preston Burton (Business Crimes Bulletin)
In any investigation where a client is deposed or interviewed by a government agent, experienced lawyers should be wary of potential false statement liability under 18 U.S.C. §1001, and likely will have advised their clients of the paramount need to be truthful. Voluntary communications, initiated...Articles
"Congressional subpoenas, special prosecutors, and the Capitol jail—Let the games begin" by Preston Burton and Paige Ammons (Bloomberg Law)
President Donald Trump has been predictably defiant in responding to the suggestion that House Democrats will unleash their newly won subpoena powers to investigate him, his administration, or his companies, warning that he is prepared to assume a “war-like posture” and that the Democrats “can play...Articles
Special Alert: Weathering the coming tide of congressional investigations
The results are in: Party control of the U.S. House of Representatives will change for the third time in 12 years, leaving legions of pundits to speculate about what happens next. Prospects for a fundamental change in the way Congress and Washington operate are dim, particularly given that the U.S...Special Alerts
News & Blogs
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in Bloomberg Law article, “Special master candidate is judge who won’t tolerate ‘nonsense’”
Bloomberg Law article, “Special master candidate is judge who won’t tolerate ‘nonsense,’” reported that Raymond Dearie, a retiring federal judge in Brooklyn, is the sole person among four candidates that both Trump and the DOJ said they could support as a special master. If selected, Dearie would...In The News
Senators question OCC on fair lending
On July 20, a group of eighteen senators wrote to the acting Comptroller of the OCC, Brian Brooks, regarding reports that senior officials at the agency “have undermined OCC examiners’ efforts to investigate and pursue violations of civil rights laws,” including the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and ECOA...InfoBytes
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in Spectrum News article, “What’s next after the Supreme Court’s rulings on Trump’s tax returns?”
Daniel R. Alonso was quoted on July 9, 2020 in a Spectrum News article, “What’s next after the Supreme Court’s rulings on Trump’s tax returns?” which discussed Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.’s right to subpoena financial records from a sitting president. Alonso noted, “It’s a very big...In The News
House Fintech Task Force holds first hearing
On June 25, the House Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Financial Technology held its first-ever hearing , entitled “Overseeing the Fintech Revolution: Domestic and International Perspectives on Fintech Regulation.” As previously covered by InfoBytes , the Committee created the task...InfoBytes
Democratic Representatives demand rescission of CFPB’s permanent HMDA threshold proposal
On June 11, House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters and 64 other Democratic House members sent a letter to the CFPB urging rescission of its May proposal to permanently raise the coverage thresholds for collecting and reporting HMDA data and to retire its HMDA Explorer tool. (...InfoBytes
Democratic senators concerned with CFPB retiring HMDA search tool
On April 29, nine Democratic Senators, led by Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), wrote to the CFPB expressing “deep concern” regarding the Bureau’s plan to retire its tools for public exploration of HMDA data— HMDA Explorer Tool and the Public Data Platform API . In the letter, the Senators argue that...InfoBytes
Senate Democrats question the CFPB on PSLF oversight
On April 3, six Democratic Senators wrote to the CFPB seeking additional information on the Bureau’s oversight of student loan companies and servicers involved in the administration of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). In the letter, the Senators expressed concern that the...InfoBytes
House Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee holds first hearing
On February 27, the newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee held its first-ever hearing to examine trends in diversity in the financial services industry, including management-level diversity and diversity among potential talent pools. The hearing...InfoBytes
Buckley Sandler Special Alert: Weathering the coming tide of congressional investigations
The results are in: Party control of the U.S. House of Representatives will change for the third time in 12 years, leaving legions of pundits to speculate about what happens next. Prospects for a fundamental change in the way Congress and Washington operate are dim, particularly given that the U.S...InfoBytes
House Financial Services Committee Issues Second Interim Report on Bureau’s Role in Fraudulent Accounts Scandal Investigation
On September 19, the Majority Committee Staff of the House Financial Services Committee (Committee) released a second interim report and supporting documents on the investigation of the role the CFPB played in detecting and remedying a major national bank’s practice of opening unauthorized bank...InfoBytes
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Press Releases & Announcements
Former Deputy Chief Counsel for Office of the Comptroller Joins BuckleySandler
WASHINGTON, DC (January 3, 2017) – BuckleySandler LLP, a premier financial services, government enforcement and litigation law firm, announced today that former Deputy Chief Counsel for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Daniel P. Stipano has joined the firm as a Partner in its...Press Releases