Tsvetan Vassilev’s New Lobbyists – A Chance to Gain Himself Indulgence or Nothing More Than Money Down the Drain?
The former Chair of Housе Foreign Affairs Committee, Edward Royce, whom Tsvetan Vassilev has hired as his lobbyist in Washington, has been criticized for his work after withdrawing from active politics
The runaway banker owes his 8-year stay in Belgrade to his connections to the Kremlin
Former congressman worked for China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia
A week after “Trud News” revealed that the former owner of the bankrupt CCB had hired four more lobbyists to represent him in Washington, the topic turned out to be a taboo for the media in Bulgaria. Even for those who savagely reported on Christmas Eve how US Congressman Warren Davidson had begun “ringing the bell” against Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev. In fact, Davidson had sent a letter to the American Secretary of Treasury, which was entirely based on Tsvetan Vassilev’s long-standing claims and in which he insisted on sanctioning the Bulgarian Prosecutor General. Undoubtedly, the greatest interest among the new lobbyists hired by Vassilev is raised by Edward Royce. He has a distinguished 26-year career as a Congressman at the Capitol. Royce was a Republican, just like the author of the letter against Geshev, Warren Davidson, who is even at the moment a current member of the House of Representatives from Ohio. Moreover both of them were members of the House Financial Services Committee, at the end of Royce’s political career and at the beginning of Davidson’s. It is the professional alliance between the current lobbyist and the current congressman that probably explains how statements that we are used to hear in Bulgaria from the defendant in absentia for draining CCB, have appeared in the letter from the Capitol.
Tsvetan Vassilev is not the only Ed Royce’s famous client. In a number of English-language sites, a lot of publications can be found that are criticizing the former politician for his role as a lobbyist – a role he has been performing for four years.
The most significant position that Royce used to hold in his nearly three decades in the House of Representatives was the position of Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
In 2019 Royce withdrew from active politics to become a political director at one of the largest US law firms – BrownsteinHyattFarberSchreck. Samantha Karl-Yoder, a diplomat with over 20 years of experience in the State Department and in various US Embassies around the world, also works in the same office, and she is also among Tsvetan Vassilev’s new lobbyists. Their continuоus work for the state and the subsequent transition to the field of lobbyists, which is a common practice in the United States, gives rise, however, to articles with the title: “The spinning door – from US government service to lobbying for dictators.”
Ed Royce has been seriously criticized in the United States because of lobbying in favor of China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, although from a legal point of view there is nothing reprehensible in his actions.
Lobbyist Ed Royce criticizes ruling communists in Asia, but then lobbies for Chinese tech giant spying for the communists
For example, Royce receives accusations of cooperating with the Chinese technology giant “Tencent”, although he used to criticize the methods of ruling communists in neighboring Vietnam. According to media reports, Ed Royce lobbied that the Chinese company avoids ban in US of the popular mobile app WeChat. The discontent comes from the fact that, according to the US authorities, the company “Tencent” was illegally spying on the political views of the Chinese, which violated human rights. There are also negative publications about the other lobbyist hired by Tsvetan Vasilev – Samantha Karl-Yoder. An investigation by an international NGO that works to democratize the Arab world shows that in just six months in 2021, Samantha Carl-Yoder contacted her former State Department colleagues in her capacity as a lobbyist for the government of Egypt 56 times.
While being a congressman, Ed Royce held official meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and later began lobbying for the Egyptian government
Ed Royce himself has been criticized for helping the administration of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to obtain another $170 million to the $1 billion for military aid approved by Congress, despite hard criticism from official Washington that there are tens of thousands political prisoners in Egypt.
The former congressman was criticized because of his speech before the House of Representatives that appeared to be completely identical to the position of the Saudi Arabian Embassy on the war in Yemen, and Royce later became a lobbyist for the kingdom
The most serious of the accusations against the former politician is related to his speech in his capacity as the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ed Royce spoke in support of Saudi Arabia’s actions in the war against terrorist groups in Yemen before the House of Representatives. The congressman’s speech later turned out to be identical to a statement of the Embassy of the Arab state on the subject that had been released earlier by another law firm, which at the same time had been hired to lobby in favor of the Saudis in political circles in Washington.
After quitting Congress, Edward Royce himself was engaged as a lobbyist by the government of Saudi Arabia.
It seems evidently that this time Tsvetan Vassilev has managed to hire a lobbyist with strong connections, which makes the defendant ex-banker, hiding in Belgrade, apparently feel sure of his success. However, the latter is highly unlikely. First, because after all, it is not about free promotion of Vassilev’s defense thesis in the USA, but about money given by a person facing criminal liability for the biggest financial fraud in Bulgaria
And second, because it doesn’t matter how much he wants to present himself to the West as their ally and partner, Vassilev is aware that everyone knows the fact that he owes his 8-year stay in the Serbian capital to his connections with oligarchs close to the Kremlin.
The lobbyist hired by Tsvetan Vassilev met in the Congress his fellow Republican Warren Davidson, who came out with a letter full of allegations of the accused former owner of CCB against the Bulgarian Prosecutor General
In the current global situation and against the background of the sharp confrontation between the US and Russia, this fact is enough to make even the best lobbyist in Washington helpless.
The good thing about this situation is that finally, the disappointment will be not only for Tsvetan Vassilev, but also for all those politicians of “We continue the change” and especially for their hidden mentors, who has hoped so much that the letter from the Capitol would help them conquer the cherished goal – the Prosecutor’s Office, in order to guarantee untouchability and make use of it as a tool against political opponents and economic competitors.