Politico is reporting that former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman will be representing a Libyan politician, raising questions by MSNBC and Salon over whether Lieberman will be lobbying.
Lieberman will be helping a Libyan business executive named Basit Igtet, who will be paying $100,000 over two months for help from Lieberman’s firm, the multi-office Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, according to public records.
Igtet is thinking about running for office in Libya, and his government relations contract with the law/lobbying firm calls for ”government relations services, communication of information to the principal and as well as [communication of] information about the principal to interested persons in the public sector.” The documents also mention “meetings with members of Congress, executive branch officials and others.”
Igtet became known when he was strongly opposing Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2010 before the leader eventually fell.
The public documents, signed last week by Lieberman’s longtime former chief of staff Clarine Nardi Riddle, also mention Lieberman and Mark Heilbrun as being “primarily responsible” for the work. Under the revolving-door rules with a two-year window, Lieberman cannot lobby his former colleagues in the U.S. Senate until January 2015 because his tenure in the Senate expired in January 2013.
After paying the $100,000 retainer, Igtet maintained the right to renew the contract. Travel, postage, and other expenses are additional.
MSNBC cited an interview in The New York Times Magazine in 2012 when well-known writer Mark Leibovich asked Lieberman which lobbying firm he would be working for.
“I’m not going to lobby. For sure,” Lieberman responded.
When Liebovich countered that sounded like the same answer that former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd had given, Lieberman said, “Yeah, I know. Watch me.”