Democrats say they didn't get to look at the first contract that Paul Clement signed to represent the U.S. House in same-sex marriage litigation, until after Clement had signed it. They want to see the second one sooner.
Three Democratic members of the House Administration Committee sent a letter today to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) asking to review any new contract for Clement, who on Monday left King & Spalding for Washington boutique Bancroft. Clement signed a contract this month on behalf of King & Spalding to represent the House’s leadership in cases about the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and he’s planning to continue the work at Bancroft.
“If a new contract is to be signed, we are requesting that all members of the Committee on House Administration have a full opportunity to review and raise questions about its provisions,” the Democrats wrote. They are Reps. Robert Brady (Pa.), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) and Charles Gonzalez (Texas).
The first contract allowed for billing at a “blended rate” of $520 an hour. It also imposed a cap on fees of $500,000, though lawmakers could raise the cap.
The letter (PDF) also asks whether the House Ethics Committee will review the lobbying provisions in any new contract. As The National Law Journal reported on Monday, a House rule restricts the lobbying that a firm can do when one of its employees is on contract for the House.
Asked for comment on the letter, a spokeswoman for the Republican-led Administration Committee pointed to a statement on Monday from Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). Lungren praised Clement’s “unwavering commitment to his clients and his dedication to uphold the law — qualities that appear to be inconsequential at King & Spalding, where politics and profit now appear to come first.”