Never-Trumpers Hire Beltway Lobby Firm in Bid to Limit Presidential Powers
21:53 GMT 07.12.2021 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
Former US president Donald Trump has frequently condemned 'RIONs' — Republicans In Name Only — for opposing his presidency or backing the two Democrat attempts to impeach him. Since leaving office he claims to have been instrumental in having them replaced with electoral candidates more in line with his agenda.
A group of Republican pundits who backed the first failed impeachment of Donald Trump has hired a Washington lobbying firm for a campaign to limit presidential powers.
Defending Democracy Together, the 'never-Trump' NGO led by Beltway veteran and regular TV talking head Bill Kristol, has engaged the Tiber Creek Group in a bid to "reform" presidential emergency powers, federal government war powers and Congress’s subpoena authority.
But the group was tight-lipped about what kind of changes it wanted to see.
The presidency "still operates under outdated reforms last addressed in a major way following the Watergate scandal,” spokeswoman Meaghan Leister told CNBC on Monday. “Defending Democracy Together has engaged a team of lobbyists to support its project work that proposes a series of nonpartisan reforms to return the Presidency to its proper constitutional role.”
The lobbying report makes note of proposed legislation dubbed “Protecting Our Democracy Act,” introduced in September and first sponsored by California Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
The bill “addresses issues involving abuses of presidential power; checks and balances, accountability, and transparency; and foreign interference in elections.”
7 December 2021, 03:46 GMT
Defending Democracy Together organises "initiatives" including Republican Voters Against Trump, the Republican Accountability Project and Republicans for the Rule of Law.
The latter attempted to find evidence against the former president for the Democrat-led impeachment attempt against Trump in 2019 and 2020 over his request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate current US President Joe Biden's political interventions in the country on behalf of his son Hunter.
Tiber Creek Group, formerly Peck Madigan Jones, has more than 30 years in selling inside-track access to Washington legislators.
"Our lobbyists and consultants have served as trusted advisors to Washington’s key players for decades," the firm's website boasts. "Industry leaders continue to choose Tiber Creek Group because we deliver premium results, and our partnerships are built to last."
Kristol was an advisor to late president Ronald Reagan's government, and later a key political cheerleader for former president George W Bush's disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Trump condemned Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on the campaign trail in 2016, and while in office negotiated the peace treaty with the Taliban* and the final withdrawal of troops from Iraq, set to be completed this year.
*The Taliban is an organisation under the UN sanctions over terrorist activities