GOING TO JOSEPH. After more than a decade in public service, it was time for Chani Wiggins to jump ship. Wiggins, most recently assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, has been named a principal with the Joseph Group LLC, a lobbying firm specializing in telecommunications, energy and homeland security issues. “Working for the Obama administration was an incredible experience, but I was ready to get back to my roots,” she said. Before her appointment at DHS, Wiggins spent more than a decade working for members in both chambers, culminating in a stint as legislative director for Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. She also was deputy chief of staff to former Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn.; legislative and communications director for Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; a senior aide to Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; and a legislative assistant on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. During her tenure on the Hill, Wiggins also launched the first Bipartisan Legislative Directors Group to strengthen relationships across the aisle. Wiggins’ position with the Joseph Group will be her first job in the private sector since her days as a reporter for Florida newspapers in the early 1990s. The University of Florida journalism student moved to Washington nearly 15 years ago, after working as an opposition researcher on the 1996 Senate campaign of former Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Harvey Gantt, who was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat the late Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.
EXPANDING CYPRESS. The Cypress Group has made two hires in its advocacy division: former Treasury official King Mueller and former congressional staffer Robert Bailey. Mueller, who has been named managing director of Cypress Advisory, was former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s deputy liaison to Congress during the maelstrom immediately following the credit and housing crisis of late 2008. He was instrumental in crafting the Housing and Economic Recovery Act and the Emergency Economic Stability Act of that year. Previously, Mueller had been a policy aide and tax counsel for former Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. Mueller received law and business degrees from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston. Bailey joins Cypress Advisory as an associate. He is a former aide to Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. He is pursuing a master’s degree at Georgetown University.
What We're Following See More »
A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.