Georgieva Hires Attorney Breuer for Defense on World Bank Probe
(Bloomberg) -- International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has hired white-collar defense attorney Lanny Breuer to represent her as she fights allegations of tampering with a World Bank report.
The fund’s executive board met with Georgieva on Wednesday as part of its review of an investigation by law firm WilmerHale, commissioned by the World Bank. It alleged that she pressured bank staff to adjust data for a ranking in China’s favor while working there previously. She took the helm of the IMF in 2019.
Breuer, a former Justice Department criminal-division chief who’s now vice chair at Washington-based Covington & Burling LLP, wrote Tuesday to the fund’s executive board at Georgieva’s request, outlining “fundamental procedural and substantive errors” with WilmerHale’s investigation and its conclusions. Public-relations firm SKDK distributed the letter on Thursday.
Among these, Breuer said WilmerHale misrepresented the circumstances and condition’s of Georgieva’s participation in the investigation, telling her that she wasn’t a subject of review, and that her statements would be afforded confidentiality, but not honoring the guarantees.
Breuer said statements Georgieva made during her interview with the lawyers “aren’t quoted in their entirety and are lined together inappropriately to support a false narrative.”
On Thursday evening, WilmerHale released a statement saying, “We conducted our investigation following all applicable World Bank rules. Dr. Georgieva was notified that our report would be presented to the World Bank Board, and that the World Bank could disclose any information she provided.”
In a statement that Georgieva gave to the executive board on Wednesday, she said the WilmerHale investigation didn’t accurately characterize her actions with respect to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 study, nor does it accurately portray her character or the way that she has conducted herself in her career.
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