Congressional Investigations

Venable's renowned, bipartisan congressional investigations team has a deep understanding of congressional and committee rules, key players, and the internal and external politics involved in high-profile investigations. We help clients respond to all aspects of a congressional investigation in a strategic, efficient, and appropriate way so they can get back to business.

Our team includes former members of Congress, including a former prominent Oversight Subcommittee chair, high-ranking executive branch officials, federal prosecutors, and senior congressional committee staff with extensive experience navigating the legal, policy, and public relations issues inherent in a congressional investigation. We use our trusted reputations, positive working relationships, and previous government experience to represent the interests of our clients throughout an investigation, including initial communications with members and staff; negotiation of the scope, timing, and substance of a subpoena or document request; and preparing witnesses to testify before Congress. We have represented scores of clients before House and Senate committees and have personal and professional relationships—on both sides of the aisle—with members of Congress, investigators, and counsel on all of the key oversight and investigative committees.

We have guided clients through congressional investigations in nearly every sector on a wide range of topics, including advertising and marketing, antitrust, consumer protection, energy and environment, ethics and management, financial services, food and drug safety, government contracts, healthcare, homeland security, housing, and privacy and data security. Venable also represents members of Congress and other federal officials in ethics investigations.

Our team works with clients to develop a response strategy that unambiguously tells their side of the story to Congress, company stakeholders, and, when appropriate, the general public. We use all of our expertise and experience to

  • Negotiate with members of Congress and investigators to resolve investigations and minimize any collateral damage from public hearings, committee interviews, and responses to congressional subpoenas and other complex information and document requests
  • Respond efficiently and effectively to such subpoenas, letters, and other requests for information
  • Prepare witnesses to testify under oath and draft related testimony and responses to questions for the record
  • Draft responses to questions posed by staff and members of Congress during sometimes confrontational interviews and hearings
  • Coordinate congressional response strategies with litigation strategies to bring a successful resolution to both
  • Conduct thorough internal investigations to assist clients in resolving issues internally and externally
  • Prevent the dissemination of privileged, confidential, or proprietary information to the greatest extent possible
  • Provide strategic advice on the legal and political ramifications of the investigation for the company, organization, institution, or individual
  • Manage crisis communications and press strategy
  • Prevent an investigation from leading to adverse legislation


Our team has represented numerous individuals, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and companies involved in high-profile hearings and investigations conducted by various committees in both the House and Senate, including the following:

  • Representations in a variety of congressional investigations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including inquiries on workforce economics, senior care, housing, and other matters. In each case, we successfully minimized the results of the investigations to ensure that no adverse legislation resulted
  • Managed an investigation of a social welfare organization by the Senate Finance Committee in relation to the marketing of affinity insurance plans that included a review of the materials by an independent expert, briefing the board and senior management on the findings, and working with the committee to respond to its concerns. Successfully defended a follow-on class action based on the same marketing claims, winning a rare motion to dismiss in a consumer protection case. By coordinating the litigation and investigation, our team was able to address both issues quickly and efficiently
  • Coordinated responses for a nonprofit organization with a national membership base that was investigated by multiple congressional committees with regard to its tax-exempt status, its lobbying efforts, and allegations of conflicts of interest. Worked with a bipartisan team of public relations and communications professionals to prepare both the volunteer president and the staff CEO for a hearing before the Ways and Means Committee. The hearing resulted in a few small news stories, and a staff report, but no formal committee report or long-term damage
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a leading industry association before a House Select Committee investigating fraudulent grassroots lobbying contacts of the organization and its vendors. Responded to committee questions and worked with a PR consultant to prepare the CEO to testify before the committee. Implemented new policies and procedures to protect the organization from similar rogue conduct in the future. As a result of these efforts, the matter went away after the hearing, and the association had already been asked to participate in additional policy meetings on the Hill, with its reputation intact
  • Represented a Fortune 250 high-tech company in an investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) into stock option back-dating, including extensive document requests and interviews with company personnel
  • Represented an executive compensation firm under investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in relation to executive compensation and the role played by compensation consultants
  • Counseled a senior government official and a top company executive in separate investigations before the House Financial Services Committee with regard to consumer protection issues and housing finance reform
  • Assisted an international oil services company in an investigation by PSI into money laundering and foreign corruption
  • Guided a leading meat retailer in an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee with regard to the safety of the U.S. food supply, including the use of carbon monoxide in meat products. Also provided counsel regarding resolutions before Congress, hearings before federal agencies, and congressional testimony