The lobbying contract signed in late August between Khalifa Haftar and the studio of Lanny J. Davis, former adviser to Bill Clinton, did not last long. The article by Giuseppe Gagliano
The lobbying contract signed in late August between Khalifa Haftar and the studio of Lanny J. Davis, former adviser to Bill Clinton, and that of former Republican deputy Bob Livingston did not last long. He was suspended on September 30th. This is because these two Washington lobby figures were under severe pressure to renounce the contract. Worth about 1 million euros, it was set up to organize the visit to the United States, officially scheduled for September 24, by the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), now a candidate in the Libyan presidential elections.
The Libya Stabilization Act, passed by the US House of Representatives on September 28, saw his approach regarding Khalifa Haftar significantly toned down from the original versions of the bill. However, the final text included sanctions on the relations between the LNA and the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. The Libyan American Alliance (LAA), chaired by Esam Omeish, was directly involved in drafting the bill and submitted a draft in December 2019 on Capitol Hill. The LAA also supported Democratic Representative Tom Malinowski, who is one of its sponsors.
Even more embarrassing for Haftar’s supporters was that on October 1, two amendments were added to the 2022 Defense Budget Financing Bill that directly affect Libya. The first asks the State Department to investigate war crimes and torture committed by American citizens in Libya. In fact, Khalifa Haftar is a US citizen and is prosecuted in a Virginia court for these charges. The second amendment calls on President Joe Biden to review allegations of violating the arms embargo against Libya.
These clauses were strongly supported by anti-Haftar lobbyists in Washington. Former Bosnian diplomat Sasha Toperich, who joined forces with Tripoli wrote a brilliant article about them in The Hill, co-written with Debra Cagan, a former State and Defense Department official. Both are members of the Transatlantic Leadership Network think tank.
In addition to this legislative assault, Emadeddin Muntasser has also been very proactive. Also involved in the task of filing a lawsuit against Haftar, he wrote to Davis and Livingston in mid-September, via the Democracy and Human Rights Foundation, which he chairs.
All of this may have been enough for the two lobbyists to throw in the towel. However, some elements of the contract were already quite unusual. In addition to their companies Livingston Group (which had already worked for Libya during the Gaddafi era) and Lanny J. Davis & Associates, two subcontractors appeared in the agreement: Rawlings International Advisory Group and Intrepid Investment Services International. Their role was to act as a liaison between the lobbying firms and the client, Haftar, as well as to assist in the preparation of the candidate’s visit to the United States.
Rawlings is led and represented by Michael D. Laba, who worked for the Department of Defense and then moved on to consulting, also with Alvarez & Marsal in New York and Dubai.
As for Intrepid Investment Services, it is an investment consulting firm run by Samuel Omwenga, a former immigration attorney who was disbarred by his fellow professionals in 2013. He has since been Vice President of Diaspora Capital Group and writes regularly on the pages of Kenyan.
Despite the premature collapse of the agreement, the first monthly sum of $ 160,000 was paid to the four partners. The origin of the funds remains unclear. Belkacem Haftar, son of Khalifa Haftar, has signed the contract as an adviser to his father.

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