Congressional Oversight & Investigations

Steptoe has for decades represented corporate clients, trade associations, and individuals in major congressional investigations.  Our knowledge of congressional procedure and our substantive experience, coupled with a deep appreciation for the political dynamics involved in any particular circumstance, has enabled our team successfully to represent clients responding to Capitol Hill inquiries, or in many instances  to avoid involvement altogether.


Steptoe has a long tradition of high-level public service, and our Congressional Investigations Team includes attorneys and advisors with deep roots in the House and Senate.  Our professionals are seasoned not only responding to congressional demands; many led or orchestrated them while in public life.  The partnership also includes former senior officials from many departments and agencies, including the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and others. 

We have served clients involved in investigations in virtually every industry, including financial services and insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, international trade, banking, energy and environment, food and drug, and other consumer products and services.  Our portfolio includes representations before all of the major committees in the House and Senate, including, in the House, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Oversight and Government Reform, and Judiciary and in the Senate, Environment and Public Works, Finance, Energy and Natural Resources, and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Steptoe approaches congressional oversight and investigation much like litigation.  We master the facts and work with our clients to ensure that their businesses and reputations are protected in whatever proceedings ensue.  At the same time, our attorneys are adept at working out solutions, even as we maintain our tenacity in protecting our clients’ interests.  The firm’s deep bench and our experience in both civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense allow the firm to orchestrate a coordinated response to the parallel proceedings that often take place in modern congressional investigations.

Our clients benefit from the fact that we also represent corporations, trade associations, and individual clients on Capitol Hill on legislative matters on a day-to-day basis.  At the present, we are heavily involved in matters such as health care reform, energy/climate legislation, financial reform and modernization, anti-money laundering standards, the treatment of international banks in the US, Federal Home Loan Bank modernization legislation, budget and appropriations matters, bankruptcy code revisions, personal privacy and other consumer protection requirements, and the establishment of new prudential standards for financial banking organizations.  We counsel clients regarding legislative procedure, advocate before the House and Senate, draft legislation and amendments, and work in all other facets of the legislative process.  Because of these ongoing representations, we are constantly involved with the Members and staff that are most heavily involved in oversight and investigations matters.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a food service client before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in a highly publicized hearing on the salmonella outbreak in the peanut butter industry.
  • Represented a client on the operation of federal lands and territories in investigations conducted by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
  • Represented a financial institution in a major anti-money laundering investigation by several House and Senate Committees.
  • Represented investment advisory firms in connection with domestic and foreign tax-advantaged investments before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
  • Represented professional service firms in connection with tax shelter and influence peddling investigations by multiple Senate Committees.
  • Represented numerous mining industry clients in FCPA compliance investigations by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
  • Represented members of the wireless industry in the landmark dismissal of six brain-cancer lawsuits against the mobile-phone industry, removing legal battles that could have potentially cost wireless carriers and manufacturers billions of dollars and deflecting what was likely to develop into a congressional investigation. 
  • Represented petroleum markets in an investigation of “price gouging” of gasoline sold at retail.
  • Represented trade associations and individual companies with respect to alleged improprieties in the financial services industry.
  • Represented the retail industry regarding credit card “interchange” fees.
  • Represented one of the largest health insurance companies in the nation in an industry-wide investigation by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • Represented a student loan provider during simultaneous investigations by the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
  • Represented an electronic parts supplier in a Senate Armed Services Committee investigation.
  • Represented a non-profit organization in a Senate Small Business Committee investigation.
  • Represented defendants in several high profile congressional investigations involving Whitewater, Columbia HCA, ArcherDanielsMidland, BCCI, the House banking scandal, and an investigation into Democratic National Committee fundraising.

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