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Grassley’s Committee Staff Grows

Senate Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has added four new members to his committee staff.

Christopher Armstrong, 27, joins the committee as investigative counsel. [IMGCAP(1)]

Armstrong previously worked as an attorney in the U.S. Office of Special Counsel since 2005. He also was a law clerk for the Senate Steering Committee from 2004 to 2005 and a law clerk for the Department of Justice’s office of legal policy from 2003 to 2004.

From Fayetteville, Ga., Armstrong describes himself as a “history geek” who is “currently involved in [the] effort to restore the D.C. World War One memorial.”

Armstrong received his bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University in 2002 and a law degree from The Catholic University of America in 2005.

Also new to the committee staff is Chris Condeluci. He will work as tax and benefits counsel.

Before coming aboard, Condeluci worked as an attorney at Groom Law Group from 2005 to 2007 and as an attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll (including Silverstein and Mullens) from 2003 to 2005.

The Pittsburgh native earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Pennsylvania State University in 1995 and a law degree and a master of laws degree in employee benefits from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 2003. [IMGCAP(2)]

David Ross, 39, is the new international trade counsel for the committee. He previously worked as associate general counsel for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 1999 to 2007, as an attorney in private practice from 1997 to 1999 and as an attorney for the Commerce Department’s office of the chief counsel for import administration from 1993 to 1997.

Ross earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989 and a law degree and a master of laws degree in comparative and international law from Duke University in 1993. He is from Medinah, Ill.

Finally, Paul Thacker is an investigator on the committee. He previously worked as a journalist, writing for publications such as Environmental Science & Technology, The New Republic and

“A compilation of investigative stories that I wrote last year were rolled into a documentary that is being broadcast currently on PBS,” he wrote in an e-mail.

A biological science graduate of the University of California at Davis, Thacker is from Los Angeles.

Counselor. Payson Peabody is new as tax counsel to Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.). Previously, Peabody worked as counsel to the assistant attorney general for the tax division at the Department of Justice, as tax counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee and for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“Payson’s experience handling tax policy at the Department of Justice and for the House Ways and Means Committee makes him the perfect fit to serve as my Tax Counsel,” Bunning said in a statement. “His vast knowledge of our complicated tax code makes him the ideal person to help me deal with the tough tax issues on the Senate Finance Committee.”

The D.C. native earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, his law degree from American University and a master of laws degree in tax from Georgetown University.

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