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Tom DeLay Registers to Lobby on Sex-Trafficking Issues

Former Rep. Tom DeLay has officially made the jump to lobbyist.

The Texas Republican in late July filed paperwork to lobby for Argus Global LLC on sex-trafficking issues, according to records tracked by the website Political MoneyLine.

New York City-based Argus Global is described as an investment, media and public relations firm on recent lobbying registration forms filed with the House and Senate.

Though the former House Majority Leader formed the political consulting firm First Principles after leaving Congress, Argus Global is his first “and probably only” lobbying client, DeLay said in a phone interview.

“I didn’t want to register as a lobbyist, but I felt like since I was talking to Members of Congress and their staff, I would cover my bases and register to make sure everything was ethical and up front,” DeLay told Roll Call.

DeLay says his client is interested in the issue of sex trafficking generally and specifically the prosecution of Joris Demmink, a Dutch civil servant who has worked at the Netherlands’ Ministry of Security and Justice.

Human rights organizations have criticized a perceived lack of interest in investigating Demmink’s alleged involvement in child abuse and sex trafficking. Just last week, GOP Reps. Joseph Pitts (Pa.), Frank Wolf (Va.) and Chris Smith (N.J.) sent a letter to the European Union’s Christian Ehler urging that Demmink be the focus of the next interparliamentary meeting.

“We write to you out of concern for the integrity of the European Union’s ongoing efforts to combat the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography,” the Congressmen wrote.

Though this his first lobbying client, DeLay is no stranger to Washington’s influence industry.

He was the recipient of frequent gifts, trips and political donations from Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist at the heart of a wide-ranging corruption investigation that ensnared many of Abramoff’s associates and two of DeLay’s aides. Abramoff pled guilty to three counts of conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion in 2006.

DeLay resigned from Congress the same year after his own corruption scandal. He received a three-year sentence last year for participating in a money-laundering scheme and is out on bail pending appeal.

Argus Global in June also brought on Winning Strategies Washington and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey to work on related sex-trafficking issues.

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