The House of Representatives formally established the new “Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party,” with a bipartisan vote of 365-65. The Select Committee, to be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), a former military intelligence officer who also serves on the House Intelligence Committee, has been in the works for some time. The Select Committee will be heavily focused on oversight and investigations and is expected to scrutinize, among other things, U.S. businesses operating in China, businesses in China on which the United States is perceived to depend, and other areas where Congress sees opportunities for private industry to bolster America’s competitive position against China. The Select Committee’s objectives are clear—companies, entities, and individuals with significant cross-border business with China should get ready for expected oversight now. 

We outline key knowns and unknowns about the Select Committee, and offer suggestions to prepare for its expected activities, in this client alert.

Photo of Robert Kelner Robert Kelner

Robert Kelner is the chair of Covington’s Election and Political Law Practice Group. Mr. Kelner provides political law compliance advice to a wide range of corporate and political clients.  His compliance practice focuses on federal and state campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, pay to…

Robert Kelner is the chair of Covington’s Election and Political Law Practice Group. Mr. Kelner provides political law compliance advice to a wide range of corporate and political clients.  His compliance practice focuses on federal and state campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, pay to play, and government ethics laws, as well as legal ethics rules.  His expertise includes the Federal Election Campaign Act, Lobbying Disclosure Act, Ethics in Government Act, Foreign Agents Registration Act, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  He is also a leading authority on the arcane rules governing political contributions by municipal securities dealers, investment advisers, hedge funds, and private equity funds.  Mr. Kelner advises Presidential political appointees on the complex process of being vetted and confirmed for such appointments.

In addition, he regularly advises corporations and corporate executives on instituting political law compliance programs.  He conducts compliance training for senior corporate executives and lobbyists.  He has extensive experience conducting corporate internal investigations concerning campaign finance and lobbying law compliance, as well as other corporate compliance matters.  Mr. Kelner regularly defends clients in investigations by the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. House & Senate Ethics Committees, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, the House & Senate Judiciary Committees, the House Energy & Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Special Committee on Aging, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and other congressional committees.  He has prepared numerous CEOs and corporate executives for testimony before congressional investigation panels, and he regularly leads the Practicing Law Institute’s training program on congressional investigations for in-house lawyers.  He also defends clients in Lobbying Disclosure Act audits by the GAO and enforcement actions and audits by state election and lobbying enforcement agencies.

Mr. Kelner has appeared as a commentator on political law matters on The PBS News Hour, CNBC, Fox News, and NPR, and he has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Legal Times, Washington Times, Roll Call, The Hill, Politico, USA Today, Financial Times, and other publications.

Photo of Dana Remus Dana Remus

Drawing on her prior experience in government service spanning multiple Administrations, Dana Remus advises clients on a full range of public policy issues, government regulatory enforcement trends, election and political law matters, congressional investigations, and civil and criminal white collar and investigations matters.

Drawing on her prior experience in government service spanning multiple Administrations, Dana Remus advises clients on a full range of public policy issues, government regulatory enforcement trends, election and political law matters, congressional investigations, and civil and criminal white collar and investigations matters. Dana advises clients in a variety of industries, including technology, financial services, FinTech, energy, and consumer goods.

Dana joined Covington after serving as Assistant to the President and White House Counsel for President Biden. In this role, Dana led the administration’s efforts to confirm Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African-American woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. In the first year of the administration, she also assisted President Biden in confirming more lower-court judges than any President since John F. Kennedy—the majority of whom are racially, ethnically, or gender diverse. As White House Counsel, Dana also advised on a range of matters and policy initiatives, including the administration’s covid strategy; voting rights; high-profile congressional investigations, including the January 6th Committee; and immigration reform.

Prior to serving as White House Counsel, Dana led the Biden-Harris campaign’s legal team as General Counsel. In the Obama administration, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel for ethics and following the administration, she served as General Counsel of the Obama Foundation, and General Counsel of the personal office of President and Mrs. Obama.

Previously, she was a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she specialized in legal and judicial ethics and the regulation of the legal profession. She also taught at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and as an inaugural faculty member at the newly established Drexel University College of Law.

Photo of Brian D. Smith Brian D. Smith

Brian Smith provides strategic and legal advice on matters that require substantial political, reputational, or government relations considerations.  He represents companies and individuals in high-profile or high-risk investigations, particularly congressional investigations, criminal investigations with political implications, and investigations related to political law compliance. …

Brian Smith provides strategic and legal advice on matters that require substantial political, reputational, or government relations considerations.  He represents companies and individuals in high-profile or high-risk investigations, particularly congressional investigations, criminal investigations with political implications, and investigations related to political law compliance.  He has significant experience in crisis management, where he advises clients facing combined legal, political, and media relations risks.  His practice also includes the development and execution of government relations initiatives, including securing the U.S. government’s political support on behalf of U.S. companies facing international legal issues.

Photo of Angelle Smith Baugh Angelle Smith Baugh

Angelle Smith Baugh is of counsel in the firm’s Election and Political Law and White Collar Litigation practice groups. She has significant experience in broad-based crisis management, advising clients on legal and political matters presenting complex risks.

Angelle’s practice focuses on defending companies…

Angelle Smith Baugh is of counsel in the firm’s Election and Political Law and White Collar Litigation practice groups. She has significant experience in broad-based crisis management, advising clients on legal and political matters presenting complex risks.

Angelle’s practice focuses on defending companies and individuals in high-profile congressional investigations, as well as other criminal, civil, and internal investigations. She represents clients before House and Senate Committees, as well as in criminal and civil government investigations before the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, Federal Election Commission, and the Office of Congressional Ethics.

She assists companies and executives responding to formal and informal inquiries from Congress and executive branch agencies for documents, information, and testimony. She has experience preparing CEOs and other senior executives to testify before challenging congressional oversight hearings.

Angelle also has experience and expertise navigating federal and state ethics laws, and provides ongoing political law advice to companies, trade associations, PACs, and individuals.