Russian State-Controlled Bank Hires Ex-Senators Trent Lott And John Breaux As Lobbyists

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Former U.S. senators Trent Lott and John Breaux are going to work as lobbyists for a state-controlled Russian bank in the crosshairs of American sanctions, according to a disclosure filed with the Senate on Friday.

Lott, a Republican from Mississippi, served as majority leader and resigned from the Senate in 2007. Breaux, a Democrat from Louisiana, left in 2005. Both work for the multinational lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs, based in Washington, D.C.

The disclosure lists the client of the two senators as Gazprombank GPB (OJSC), a Moscow-based bank. The lobbying issues are described as: “Banking laws and regulations including applicable sanctions.”

The filing was first reported by the Center For Public Integrity, which noted that the bank’s parent company is controlled by state-owned energy company Gazprom, which supplies roughly one-third of Russia’s natural gas. It was banned in July by the U.S. Treasury Department from working with American institutions, as part of a series of sanctions against Russia. The sanctions were designed to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for aggression in Ukraine.

(Photo credit: AP. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., left, shakes hands with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, right, D-S.D; Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, standing to right of Lott, and Sen. John Breaux, D-La., obscured by Daschle, look on during a photo opportunity on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2001, in Washington. Applauding, at right, is Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah.)

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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