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After Trump, Dem Probes May Turn To Companies

January 25, 2021, Law360

Robert Kelner is quoted in Law360 regarding the increased scrutiny over Paycheck Protection Program loans following the overhaul of Democratic leadership. Mr. Kelner compares the change to 2009, when Democrats reclaimed the White House and kept control of Congress. Lawmakers investigated the roots of the financial crisis and probed companies that accepted taxpayer help, including through the Troubled Asset Relief Program that purchased struggling corporations' assets and stock. Some investigations lasted a decade.

Mr. Kelner stated that negotiations with congressional staff can often preserve privileges, although the prospect of disclosure can add pressure. Many committee chairs can easily get subpoenas authorized with tight turnaround times. Information revealed by Congress often features in separate civil litigation. “Congressional investigations are a 'gray swan' event. They're not frequent, really, for any company. But if you're in a disfavored industry, it's also not quite a rare 'black swan' event. When they do hit, they hit with great suddenness and ferocity.”

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