Updated at 3:20 p.m.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has quietly blacklisted the conservative political firm Jamestown Associates, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the decision, an apparent payback for the group’s previous work targeting Senate GOP incumbents.
The NRCC is the second major political committee to effectively excommunicate Jamestown from its operation, joining the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which announced in November that it would no longer work with the firm.
Unlike the NRSC, however, the NRCC — which made the move at the same time as its Senate counterpart — kept its decision a secret.
“Jamestown has made it very difficult to support their work and give them committee business,” said one Republican House campaign aide, who declined to speak on the record.
The decision means that Jamestown will not be hired to work for the committee’s lucrative independent-expenditure arm. And, according to sources, the NRCC has also discouraged individual House campaigns from using the firm. This is all likely to be a major financial blow to Jamestown, which counts New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie among its clients.
In addition to the two Senate and House political arms, sources also confirm that the Republican National Committee has also cut off Jamestown — although because the RNC doesn’t dole out contracts, its decision is far less consequential. The New York Times also reported in November that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would no longer work with the company.
The actions by the party’s official political apparatus — and perhaps its biggest independent backer — amount to decisive action from the Republican Party establishment against a company it believes has betrayed the GOP. The controversy stems from Jamestown’s work with the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group that has targeted Republican senators in TV ads for their perceived unwillingness to defund and repeal Obamacare.
The group has most aggressively attacked Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, endorsing his primary opponent and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in TV ads criticizing him. “It is standard practice for Republican political committees not to do business with vendors who work to elect Democrats, and this cycle SCF has officially been classified in the same category as Democrat campaign committees,” one Republican campaign official said.
The action will be controversial. Conservatives had previously decried the NRSC’s move as arbitrary and thuggish.
“SCF only supports conservative candidates and we have never supported a Democrat,” said Matt Hoskins, SCF’s executive director. “The Republican establishment, however, votes with the Democrats and supports candidates who often become Democrats when [they] lose to a conservative in a primary. The Republican leadership in Washington should be blacklisting themselves for helping the Democrats enact their liberal agenda.”
Representatives for Jamestown Associates did not immediately return requests for comment.
A spokeswoman for the NRCC, Andrea Bozek, declined to comment on the report.
“We don’t discuss internal conversations with vendors publicly,” she said.
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."