Comment: When I came to Washington 45

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When I came to Washington 45

When I came to Washington 45 years ago to work as an investigator for the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, a senior investigator with years of experience told me that the beginning of any good investigation was a clear understanding of the players. "Everyone you will look at has a history," he explained. "They will have mentors and sponsors. They will have networks of political and business connections. They will play many roles. If you understand those, everything else will fall into place."

The advice was sound and has served me well in years of investigations of corporate wrongdoing, organized crime, money laundering, and securities fraud. My career highlights include serving as Special Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and before that as Assistant Counsel to the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee followed by work as a private lawyer representing victims of financial crime and financial institutions on compliance matters.

Despite the desperate need for such an investigative approach, throughout my career I have been constantly perplexed by the reception to it. A frequent response by newspaper columnists and pundits was to dub me a "conspiracy nut." Another common response was to call my evidence "anecdotal," a word uttered with a dismissive sneer.

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