Congressional Investigations

Congressional investigations move fast, and they do not conform to the rules of a courtroom. McGuireWoods is distinctively qualified to help individuals and companies navigate this demanding terrain. Our congressional investigations team includes seasoned investigations lawyers with extensive experience on some of the most high-profile congressional investigations. Ranging from the Major League Baseball steroid scandal, the “Fast and Furious” investigations, the Deep Water Horizon inquiries, to the recent USA Gymnastics sexual assault investigations, our congressional investigations lawyers have been there. Over the past 20 years, we have built strong personal and professional relationships with members and their staff and have earned a reputation for knowing how to navigate the halls of Congress.

Media scrutiny, the glare of the spotlight, and shifting political alliances are just some of the unique challenges posed by congressional investigations. And these challenges are never more prevalent than when the balance of power in Congress changes hands: Corporate conduct that was appropriate when it occurred can suddenly become the target of committee staff motivated by a partisan political agenda.

Our congressional investigations team leverages the wide-ranging capabilities and relationships of McGuireWoods’ lobbying arm, McGuireWoods Consulting, comprised of a deep bipartisan bench of Capitol Hill veterans who have extensive experience with the inner workings of Congress, including a highly respected former member of Congress and White House political director. To provide the most innovative and in-depth services to our clients, McGuireWoods also relies on our technical industry expertise across a broad range of sectors, including defense, financial institutions, health care, pharmaceutical, energy, education, infrastructure, technology and transportation.

About Our Team

The congressional investigations team at McGuireWoods is part of an elite Government Investigations & White Collar Litigation Department that has been recognized as a Law360 Practice Group of the Year. Our senior team is comprised of a deep bench of lawyers with decades of experience with investigations at the intersection of law and politics, including a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, former U.S. Attorneys, more than a dozen federal prosecutors, an Associate Counsel to the President of the United States, and other former senior enforcement officials. Our congressional investigations team also leverages the strengths of our highly regarded colleagues at McGuireWoods Consulting, our legislative consulting arm comprised of former elected officials, senior Executive Branch officials, more than a dozen senior congressional staffers, and White House and legislative staff. Our combined congressional investigations team includes:

  • Former Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General of the United States
  • Former highly respected member of Congress and White House political director
  • Senior Congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle
  • Former transition team members for the current presidential administration
  • Former Associate Counsel for the President of the United States
  • Former Attorney General of Virginia
  • Former U.S. Attorneys and more than a dozen federal prosecutors
  • Former Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s National Security Division
  • Former Chief of Staff to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb
  • Former Chief Counsel to U.S. Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign
  • Former high-level government enforcement officials at the SEC and the Justice Department
  • Former Chief of Staff to U.S. Sen. John Hoeven
  • Deputy independent counsel under Ken Starr during the Whitewater investigation
  • Numerous public policy and legislative affairs consultants

How We Help

Given this special combination of skills, experience, and relationships, McGuireWoods’ congressional investigations team helps our clients develop successful strategies to move through the gauntlet of the congressional investigations process. From a seemingly innocuous request issued by a congressional committee to a full-blown hearing in front of cameras, we gauge the potential legal, political and reputational consequences, counseling clients on how to resolve the issue positively while avoiding damaging missteps. Our team also helps clients limit the collateral consequences of congressional investigations by developing strategies to reduce and address private litigation and potential criminal exposure. Furthering our expertise and in close collaboration with McGuireWoods’ Strategic Risk & Crisis Management Group, our team also manages ancillary issues associated with congressional investigations, including board and shareholder relations, media inquiries, and other crisis management matters.

Fortune 500 companies, senior executives, boards of directors, and high-profile political leaders have called on McGuireWoods to handle a broad range of matters in the congressional arena, including:

  • Responding to congressional subpoenas for documents or investigative hearing testimony
  • Negotiating with legislative staff on scope of response
  • Preparing witnesses for hearing using “mock panels”
  • Analyzing privilege and other sensitive elements of potential testimony
  • Directing media and public relations and developing crisis management strategies
  • Overseeing board and shareholder relations and litigation and other ancillary matters

Representative Matters

  • Represented Major League Baseball Players Association in congressional inquiry into steroid use
  • Represented senior executive of BP in hearings related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • Represented former president of USA Gymnastics in recent sexual abuse investigation
  • Represented CIA and DOD officials in congressional investigation into Bush-era enhanced interrogation techniques
  • Represented acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the “Fast and Furious” congressional investigation
  • Represented members of Congress in Ethics Committee and DOJ investigations, including the resolution of a six-year federal investigation into former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff
  • Assisted major aerospace company in high-visibility Pentagon matter
  • Assisted major government contractor in Senate testimony regarding veterans hiring issues
  • Represented several large pharmaceutical companies in congressional probes into the opioid crisis
  • Represented a U.S. Attorney in congressional probe regarding criminal charging decisions
  • Assisted leading energy company in state ethics investigation
Congressional investigations brochure cover

Download copy of our practice brochure.