A former Republican congresswoman who spoke at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on Monday, Aug. 17, and endorsed the party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden for president once led a major firm that lobbied for Russia.
Susan Molinari left Congress in 1997 after representing Staten Island for three terms in the House. In 2001, she joined Washington Group, a lobbying firm, as president and chief executive.
In 2007, the Washington Group, a subsidiary of public affairs giant Ketchum Inc., became part of a contract with Russia. The group represented both the Russian Federation and the state-owned energy giant Gazprom Export, according to Ketchum’s fillings with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, reported the Washington Examiner.
In 2008, Ketchum and the Washington Group said they had received a total of $5.236 million for their work for Russia’s government—Ketchum earned another $2.94 million for services for Gazprom.
During the contract with Russia, the Washington Group had contact with the office of the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who was Joe Biden. Specifically, Molinari herself contacted aides to Biden during the military conflict between Russia and the country of Georgia, according to The Hill.
There is no indication that then-Sen.Joe Biden or his aides did anything improper with regard to the Washington Group and its relation with Russia. Biden at the time traveled to Georgia and, upon return to the United States, called for $1 billion in emergency aid to help “rebuild” the country.
Molinari joined several Republicans to speak in support of Biden at DNC, including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, and former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.
“I’m a former Republican member of Congress for New York City and I’ve known Donald Trump for most of my political career. So disappointing and lately so disturbing,” Molinari said on the opening night of the virtual DNC.
“And I’ve also gotten to know and work with Joe Biden on issues related to women that are so important to all of us. Women in business, violent against women, that’s why I’m so proud to call him my friend and honored to join in supporting his candidacy for president. He’s really good man and he’s exactly what the nation needs at this time,” she added.