July 05, 2020

Washington-based lobbyist declined to represent Prince Andrew, New York Times claims
A lobbyist with ties to the Trump Administration and a client list that includes governments accused of Human Rights abuses has declined to represent Prince Andrew, it was claimed on Sunday night. The New York Times said the Duke of York's lawyers approached the Washington-based lobbyist Robert Stryk "in recent weeks". Mr Stryk has a history of "taking on clients with unsavoury reputations" the newspaper reported but it claimed that he "expressed discomfort about the possibility of assisting Prince Andrew". The Telegraph understands a "conversation" took place between Mr Stryk and Blackfords, the London law firm representing the Duke, but no deal was struck. A spokesman for Prince Andrew declined to comment. A source said: "This looks like a lobbying firm advertising. No engagement has been made or sought." Mr Stryk was unavailable for comment on Sunday. According to The New York Times, he owns a company called Sonoran Policy Group which runs a "global private diplomacy" firm. Mr Stryk has represented a Saudi prince who fell out of favour with the country's rulers as well as the Venezuelan government which Mr Trump considers "illegitimate". His clients also include Isabel dos Santos, Africa's richest woman and the daughter of Angola's former president, who is accused of embezzlement, a charge she denies. Previous clients include the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo when it was run by Joseph Kabila, who has been accused of human rights abuses. The report came as the Duke of York's lawyers offered to co-operate with US prosecutors just days before Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested, leaving the Prince "very frustrated" by the public appeal for him to "talk with us". Sources close to the Prince said on Sunday night that his legal team had written to the Department of Justice in the US two to three days before FBI agents swooped, arresting Ms Maxwell, 58, at her hideout in New Hampshire. According to one of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims, who was able to listen in to Maxwell's first court appearance on Thursday, the 58-year-old daughter of the disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell could be heard sobbing over the video link and exclaiming: "Why is this happening, how could this happen?" Sources insisted the Prince's lawyers had now written five times offering to assist with the inquiry into Ms Maxwell over her alleged role in grooming under age girls who were sexually abused by Epstein, her former boyfriend who died in prison last year while awaiting trial.
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