Lobbying Firm Repping Ethiopian Regime a Major Biden Backer

Ethiopia Tigray

(Source: Free Beacon) –

A prominent Washington, D.C., lobbying firm and major Democratic donor is partnering with the Ethiopian regime, which has been accused of war crimes in the country’s Tigray region, prompting a protest from Tigrayan advocates outside the firm’s doors on Thursday.

Venable LLP, a law firm with a political lobbying arm, struck a contract in February with the Ethiopian government running through the end of April. Venable also made major donations to several Democratic candidates in the 2020 election cycle and did contract work for the company of freshman senator Mark Kelly (D., Ariz.).

Venable has financial ties to several of the Biden administration’s senior leaders. According to publicly available financial disclosures, employees of the lobbying firm gave more than $200,000 to the Biden campaign, more than $33,000 to Vice President Kamala Harris, and $14,000 to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

Activist Meaza Gidey said the protesters are concerned about the Ethiopian government using Venable’s connections to lawmakers on Capitol Hill to soften the American response to the humanitarian crisis.

“We are concerned because they might have connections that they have built over the past years,” Gidey told the Washington Free Beacon. She said the firm could use those connections to “effectively convince American policymakers” to be more favorable to the Ethiopian regime.  

In the 2020 campaign cycle, Venable and its employees donated a total of $339,200 to 132 Democratic lawmakers in Congress. The firm and its employees gave $114,707 to Republican candidates, less than 25 percent of its political donations. The firm’s influence also extends to prominent Senate Democrats. At least three lobbyists employed by Venable previously served on the staffs of Sens. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), and former senator Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.).

Venable did not respond to a request for comment on its relationship with Ethiopia, its stance on the crisis in Tigray, or its relationship with lawmakers.

The firm also lobbied for World View Enterprises, a company founded by Sen. Mark Kelly (D., Ariz.). According to publicly available contract data, the lobbying firm worked for World View Enterprises from June 2019 to October 2020. World View Enterprises paid Venable roughly $130,000 for its services. The firm’s employees also gave $6,000 in campaign donations to Kelly’s Senate campaign in 2020, prompting questions about the relationship between Kelly and Venable. Kelly’s firm has already come under fire for its ties to a Chinese tech giant responsible for censorship within China.

A spokesman for Kelly said the senator left World View Enterprises in February 2019, before the company’s contract with Venable.

Other protest organizers sounded the alarm about Venable’s influence and criticized the lobbying firm for taking on a government accused of war crimes as a client. Fedilla Kassa, an organizer of the protest, told the crowd in a speech that Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is using the firm to protect itself from accusations that it is conducting a genocide.

“The lawmakers who take money from these guys have a responsibility to investigate and hold these people accountable for being willing to tell lies on behalf of another government,” Millete Birhanemaskel, an organizer from Colorado who also has family in Tigray, said. “We want to hold them accountable as well.”

The protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations on behalf of Tigray. Activists have called on the Biden administration and lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to act to address violence and starvation in the region. Abiy admitted that Eritrean troops have entered Tigray after months of denying that Eritrean troops were involved in the conflict. He also acknowledged that sexual violence and other atrocities were occurring in the region.

Before he faced accusations of war crimes and genocide, Abiy was lauded by U.S. lawmakers and the international community as a democratic reformer who could be a model for other leaders. Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.) repeatedly praised the Ethiopian prime minister for “his commitment to peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia.”

On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bipartisan condemnation of the violence. The resolution, introduced by Sens. Jim Risch (R., Idaho) and Ben Cardin (D., Md.), called on all sides of the conflict “to cease all hostilities, protect human rights, allow unfettered humanitarian access, and cooperate with independent investigations of credible atrocity allegations pertaining to the conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.”

Activists said more is needed to avoid slaughter in the region. Daniel Woldu, a protest organizer who still has family members living in Tigray, called on the Biden administration to threaten sanctions against Ethiopia if violence does not cease.

“The U.S. can take an even heavier stance. You can sanction Ethiopia, you can sanction Eritrea. These two governments are causing havoc in the Horn of Africa right now,” Woldu said. “Take a decisive action where the government of Ethiopia understands that if you don’t abide by the human rights and international laws that are out there, you will be sanctioned and you will face the courts.”

 

1 thought on “Lobbying Firm Repping Ethiopian Regime a Major Biden Backer

  1. Venable is gonna sell its services and expertise that could serve its clients as a cure-all evidence and certifications for them to get exonerated from mass-murder, rape, robbery, arson, maiming kids and women and a massive corruption scandal. You cannot find anyone like Abiy and his party getting embroiled in a massive corruption scandal in the history of the country.

    Why I said so: I cannot find corrupted man like this party and its leader, Colonel Abiy, who misused public funding and donations to purchase weaponry and kill his own people in order to prolong his days in power. All these crimes are committed in the guise of law enforcement operations and maintaing the country’s unity.

    All these crimes are perpetrated to arrest and kill TPLF leaders , as per Amhara militias . Killing women, maiming kids and destroying churches and monasteries has nothing to do with a handful of Tigrian Leaders, who take part in liberating the whole nation. They could have been questioned by the country’s judicial organs. KIlling them like that does undermine the soveregnity of the country which claim to have a national judicial organs but rather amplifies the fact that the country is led by gangeters. https://www.venable.com/services/practices/legislative-and-government-affairs

    Ethiopian Govrenment is paying $35K a month for this service(of Venable) and will be represented by Loren Aho and Thomas Quinn.

    FYI, Once a lobbying engagement begins, the lobbyist or firm is required to file updates four times a year. Those updates sometimes change which lobbyists are involved or add new issues being discussed. When lobbyists stop working for a client, the firm is also supposed to file a report disclosing the end of the relationship.

    በአቢይና በአሽቃባጮቹ የአማራ ልሂቃን አንደበት ወያኔን በሙሥና ሊወነጅሉ የሚችሉበት ሞራል ከወዴት መነጨ፥ተገኘ፣ ጥቂት እንኳን ሀፍረት አልፈጠረባቸዉም ፧ያለአግባብ በስልጣን ለመቆየት ሲሉ በሚልዮናት የሚቆጠር የሕዝብን ሀብትና ንብረት ለባዕዳን በመሸጥ ከባዕዳን የአረብ ሀገራት ጋር ተመሳጥረዉ ሌት ተቀን በወያኔ ስም ሕዝባቸዉን በመጨፍጨፍ አራት ወራቶች አለፉ፥፥ከዚህ በላይ ሙስናና የጦር ወንጀል ላሳር ነዉ፥በዚህ ልክ የሚሆን ወንጀል እና ሙስና ናስርቆት ከወዴትም ልታገኙ እንደማትችሉ በልበሙሉነት ላረጋግጥላቹህ እችላለሁ፥፥

    የህውሀት መሪዎች የትግራይ ተወላጆች ባይሆኑ ኖሮ የአማራ ልሂቃን ገድል ና ድርሳን በፃፉላዉ ነበር፥አጤ ሚኒሊክ ያልዋለበትን የድል አዉድማ ፥ያላስመዘገበዉን ታሪክ ያለ አግባቡ ለርሱ በማከናነብ ሁሌ ሲያሞካሹት መስማት የተለመደ ሆኗል፥፥በጨዉ ደንደስ በርበሬ ተወደስ እንደተባለ፥በነገራችን ላይ ስንኳንስ የግዕዝ (የአክሱማውያን ቋንቋ)ና ፊደሎቹ፥አማርኛ ቋንቋ በተለምዶ የአማራ ክልል ተብሎ በሚጠራዉ የሚኖሩ ሰዎች እነርሱ የፈጠሩት ወይም አስቀድመዉ ይጠቀሙበት ቋንቋለመሆኑ ማስረጃ የላችሁም፥፥ባጭሩ አማርኛ ቋንቋ የናንተ አይደለም ብየ ስነግራቹህ በታላቅ ሀዘን ነዉ፥፥

    Sources

    https://www.foreignlobby.com/2021/02/26/ethiopia-lobbies-congress-on-tigray-conflict-hillary-aide-politico-editor-among-team-lobbying-for-jailed-georgia-leader-new-york-law-firm-burgergray-ends-russia-work-fridays-daily-digest/
    https://projects.propublica.org/represent/lobbying/
    https://www.law.com/ entitled venable makes a play for lobby talent.
    https://oromoprotests.org/venable/
    https://www.venable.com/services/practices/legislative-and-government-affairs
    https://nalrc.indiana.edu/doc/brochures/amharic.pdf- read this one please!!!!!
    https://fr.silverbaytrans.com/post/facts-and-history-about-the-amharic-language
    https://ethiopiaamharic.wordpress.com/history/
    https://codeaddis.com/the-case-of-amharic-language

    Whether this language (Amharic)was entirely attached to a certain people is debatable,
    https://face2faceafrica.com/article/how-haile-selassie-made-the-amharic-language-ethiopias-lingua-franca-in-the-1930s

    Why is a prestigious US law firm representing a genocidal foreign govt? Provide the appropriate answer to yourself please!!

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