You are hereThink Progress: Despite Denials, New Email Confirms US Chamber Had Spoken ‘Directly’ With Private Security Firms' Espionage Work

Think Progress: Despite Denials, New Email Confirms US Chamber Had Spoken ‘Directly’ With Private Security Firms' Espionage Work

February 14, 2011- On Friday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the big business lobby representing Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs, AIG, and other major corporations — released its second denial in the ongoing ChamberLeaks controversy. In it, they claimed that HBGary’s proposal “was never discussed with anyone at the Chamber” and that “the Chamber was not aware of these proposals until HBGary’s e-mails leaked.” However, at least six separate leaked HBGary emails suggest that, contrary to their denials, the Chamber was repeatedly made aware of the activities of HBGary and two other private security firms.

As ThinkProgress laid out last week, the lobbying firm Hunton & Williams (H&W) served as the go-between for the Chamber and three private security firms — HBGary, Palantir, and Berico Technologies — who were collectively known as “Team Themis.” Emails indicate that three top lawyers at Hunton & Williams — John Woods, Bob Quackenboss, and Richard Wyatt — met on multiple occasions with the Chamber in order to brief them on Team Themis’s proposals.

First, emails clearly indicate that the “client” whom Team Themis was assisting was indeed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

– December 13: Pat Ryan of Berico Technologies emailed John Woods that the team was excited “to provide the client with a powerful, innovative solution” and were “still working through the details of our Phase I research/analysis support for the Chamber.”

– January 9: Pat Ryan emailed his Team Themis colleagues that he had received a message from H&W lawyer Bob Quackenboss’s secretary “requesting a conference call on Mon at 10am to discuss the way ahead for the Chamber effort.”

Despite the Chamber’s insistence that they were “not aware” of HBGary’s proposals, a November 16 email between Aaron Barr of HBGary and Berico Technologies indicated that members of Team Themis had been communicating about the “sensitive” Chamber project:



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