Hank Johnson Calls for Investigation of Dirty Tricks Effort on Opponents of Chamber of Commerce

Rep. Hank Johnson

Rep. Hank Johnson is calling for an investigation of three tech companies, HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies and Palantir Technologies and the Hunton & Williams law firm.  Why? Because a series of hacked e-mails from the law firm and the tech companies reveal an effort to embarrass political opponents of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

From Rep. Hank Johnson’s office: 20 members of U.S. House call for hearings on planned ‘dirty-tricks’ campaign that targeted critics of U.S. Chamber of Commerce — Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), along with 19 colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, today called for a full and immediate Congressional investigation of evidence that three prominent defense and intelligence contractors and a leading Washington, D.C., law firm planned a dirty-tricks campaign to undermine and discredit critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A series of e-mails recently revealed to the public indicates that defense contractors HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies, and Palantir Technologies may have conspired to conduct an unethical and possibly illegal campaign to undermine American citizens and organizations, including national labor unions, U.S. Chamber Watch, and the Center for American Progress.

“We are deeply concerned by evidence that intelligence contractors may have engaged in a criminal conspiracy to target American citizens on behalf of powerful corporate interests,” said Johnson. “We believe a full Congressional investigation is warranted to determine whether laws were broken and whether existing laws are sufficient to protect Americans from high-tech dirty tricks.”

Johnson sent the letter asking for an investigation to chairs of the House Judiciary, Armed Services, Intelligence and Oversight and Government Reform committees.  Co-signers of the letter include Bruce Braley (IA-01), Donna Edwards (MD-04), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Bob Filner (CA-51), Barney Frank (MA-04), Raul Grijalva (AZ-07), Mike Honda (CA-15), Luis Gutiérrez (IL-04), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02), Shelia Jackson Lee (TX-18), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Barbara Lee (CA-09), Jim McDermott (WA-07), Chris Murphy (CT-05), Tim Ryan (OH-17), Pete Stark (CA-13), Ed Towns (NY-10), Betty Sutton (OH-13), Maxine Waters (CA-35), Peter Welch (At-Large-VT).