Conflicts of interest along the Pakistan -- K Street -- Foggy Bottom axis 

The Legal Times has been reporting on Robin Raphel, the State Department's nonmilitary aid coordinator for Pakistan, who was a registered lobbyist on behalf of Pakistan at Cassidy & Associates a week before Hillary Clinton's State Department hired her to coordinate U.S. aid for Pakistan.

Now it comes out that Raphel met with Cassidy lobbyists in the run-up to Obama's signing an expanded package of nonmilitary aid for Pakistan.

A former lobbyist working on issues affecting her client would seem to violate the following pledge Obama's first executive order:

I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.

The White House has given some arguments about why Raphel's actions don't clash with the EO. But what we have here, and elsewhere, is evidence either of flouting of the Obama ethics rules or of their worthlessness.

Check the blog posts by the Legal Times' Carrie Levine for all the dirt, here and more recently here.

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Timothy P. Carney

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