The firm, BGR Group, helped orchestrate a letter from Republican members of the national security establishment pushing Republican Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, to back Blinken's confirmation. The letter agreed with BGR's lobbying applications in aid of the Russian pipeline.
Fox News got an electronic copy of the letter; the document's metadata reveals it was created by Adriana Larsen, a senior policy analyst at BGR. Risch was among the approximately couple dozen Republicans who voted to confirm Blinken. While the letter's being published by Politico.
BGR registered on April 1, 2020, as a lobbyist for Nord Stream 2 AG on "Issues related to the U.S. position toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline," Senate lobbying disclosures reveal. Since then, Nord Stream has paid BGR $240,000 per quarter – or only under $1 million per year – to lobby in favor of the pipeline, those disclosures reveal. Larsen, the policy analyst involved with the letter, does not seem to have been included in BGR's Nord Stream lobbying attempts.
Nevertheless, the fact that the same firm lobbying on behalf of the pipeline was further promoting Blinken's confirmation is likely to raise questions from Republicans on Capitol Hill. Blinken is slated to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
"Secretary Blinken had no knowledge of any BGR work on behalf of his confirmation, he was not aware of the group’s work on behalf of Nord Stream 2, nor was he in contact with BGR regarding it. The Secretary has been clear: he, like the President, is opposed to the pipeline and views it as a Russian influence project," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
Risch's office explained that the letter did not affect his choice to vote for Blinken and stressed that the senator opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
President Biden has come under sharp criticism for waiving sanctions on the corporation and CEO managing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction, especially in light of Biden's choice to block the Keystone XL Pipeline, which was projected to produce tens of thousands of American jobs before it was scrapped.
The Nord Stream 2 deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime will transfer Russian gas to Germany via a pipeline running under the Baltic Sea. If finished, this new pipeline would double the amount of natural gas Russia transports right to Europe and hand an enormous geopolitical success to Putin.