FTC Releases Nearly 500 Pages of Material on Conflicts of Interest — and Redacts It All

 | David Dayen 08/31/2018 9:28 AM MDT

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There are a lot of questions to be asked about Andrew Smith, who was recently installed to head the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Given that Smith previously worked for four years at the law firm Covington & Burling, representing an enormous number of corporate clients, including companies under active investigation by the FTC — including Equifax, Uber, and Facebook — one of those questions is: How will the FTC ensure against conflicts of interest?

Smith’s financial disclosure form, obtained by Public Citizen, lists his work on behalf of big banks, payday lenders, pawn shops, credit reporting companies, pharmaceutical firms, and perhaps worst of all, the Dallas Cowboys.

So Public Citizen filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all documents related to Smith’s financial disclosure and potential conflicts of interest, as well as how the agency would ensure Smith’s recusal from matters involving former clients.

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