That broadside came before Hagel's letter outlining his divestment plans. In addition to Hagel's pledge, the Senate Armed Services Committee also has some of the most stringent rules for nominees for senior civilian positions in the Defense Department, requiring nominees to divest all financial interests in any company contracting with the Pentagon. The committee bases its rules on a 330-page list of firms with any Defense contract exceeding $25,000.
Hagel also said he would cut ties to the McCarthy Group, headed by a former campaign treasurer, Michael McCarthy. In 2009, Hagel was named a senior adviser at McCarthy Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of McCarthy's company. The firm's investments include HDR and Vornado, which both have defense contracts.
And Hagel also agreed to step down as an adviser to M.I.C. industries, where he earned $120,000 last year. The firm's business includes making temporary structures under contract for the U.S. military.
His role as a member of Deutsche Bank's America's Advisory Board could also have posed problems because of reports that the German bank was among several global lenders under investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly helping to skirt U.S. trade sanctions on Iran's energy industry. The German-based bank has denied the allegations.
In his letter, Hagel also pledged to cut ties with several academic and public interest groups, including Georgetown University, the Atlantic Council, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the America Security Project and the Ploughshares Fund. The latter group has pressed for nuclear non-proliferation and Hagel's outspoken views on that issue has also raised complaints from some Senate conservatives.
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