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Dem senators question Giuliani's relationship with OxyContin maker

Dem senators question Giuliani's relationship with OxyContin maker
© UPI Photo

Two Democratic senators are questioning whether Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s past representation of an opioid manufacturer led the company to receive lenient treatment from the federal government.

Sens. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanProgressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack MORE (D-N.H.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseMcConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats On The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (D-R.I.) sent separate letters to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) this week asking whether Giuliani’s work years ago on behalf of both agencies while he was representing Purdue Pharma may have led to unduly lenient treatment for the company.

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who joined President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE’s personal legal team in April to lead the response to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in its election interference efforts, was hired by Purdue in 2002 and represented the company in the mid-2000s.

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Purdue manufactures OxyContin, and the company has come under fire for its alleged deceptive and fraudulent marketing of the drug. The company is accused of intentionally misleading the public by hiding the drug’s potential for abuse.

Purdue is currently facing dozens of lawsuits for the role OxyContin has allegedly played in America's opioid epidemic.

In the letters, the senators cite reports that Giuliani represented Purdue in negotiations with the DOJ over the fraudulent marketing schemes.

At the same time, Giuliani’s firm was reportedly part of a $1 million consulting contract with the DOJ to provide advice on reorganizing its major drug investigations and Giuliani was also personally raising money for a DEA museum.

Ultimately, political appointees at the DOJ accepted a plea from Purdue that it “misbranded” OxyContin, and the company paid a $640 million fine in 2007.

Giuliani also participated in meetings with DEA officials and helped broker a deal where Perdue paid a $2 million fine for record-keeping violations but admitted no wrongdoing, the senators said.

“These facts suggest [DOJ and] DEA officials may have agreed to an inappropriately lenient treatment of Purdue Pharma simply because it was represented by Mr. Giuliani,” the senators wrote in the letters.

“The public health consequences of that decision may have been immense, and deserve greater scrutiny by Congress, [DOJ], and DEA,” the lawmakers added.

The Senators asked for DEA and DOJ to respond by Sept. 21.