Miss Sloane (2016) Script

Lobbying is about foresight.

About anticipating your opponent's moves and devising countermeasures.

The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition, and plays her trump card just after they play theirs.

You better not be saying that when you're in there.

It's about making sure you surprise them,

and they don't surprise you.

I'm gonna ask you again.

Miss Sloane, could you please describe the nature of your work?

On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer your question, based on my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Those words, when you're not taking the oath or confirming details, those words, in that order, are all you're gonna say.

"On average, would you say you bribed public officials

"more or less than once a month?"

Upon the advice of counsel... Can I deviate slightly?

"On the advice of counsel"? On the advice

"of my attorney"? You do not...

Okay, okay, I understand that last one's too adventurous for you.

This would be a whole lot easier if I could just shout "Fifth."

They want you behind bars.

You make one statement, you correct one nefarious allegation, that's it.

You waive your right to the Fifth and you're compelled to answer everything.

They're taking you to the woodshed in front of the national press.

They're gonna rile you so bad they'd make Gandhi wanna cut their tongues out.

" Did you arrange for benefits such as travel, "luxury accommodations, "and sports tickets to be furnished

"to members of Congress

"at the behest of your clients?"

" Did you arrange for benefits such as travel, "luxury accommodations, and sports tickets to..."

Daniel. When I take the stand, you'll see nothing but a granite wall.

Good.


Miss Sloane!

Nothing to say, guys, thank you.

Miss Sloane, Miss Sloane!

This is tight.

You'd think they would choose a more appropriate venue.

Well, turns out the Nationals had a home game.

Good morning.

I am Senator Ronald Sperling, Chair of this Hearing. Miss Sloane...

Please raise your right hand.

Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under pains and penalties of perjury?

I do. Please, sit.

Will the witness please state her full name for the record?

Madeline Elizabeth Sloane.

Louder, please.

Madeline Elizabeth Sloane.

And could the witness please confirm that these details are accurate...

Uh...

Date of birth, July 26, 1976, address...

Suite 504, Watergate South, 700 New Hampshire Avenue North West, Washington D.C.?

Correct.

You were employed by Cole, Kravitz and Waterman LLP for a 10-year period between 2006 and 2016, before moving on earlier...

Eleven year period.

Excuse me?

There are 11 years between 2006 and 2016.

What was the nature of your work with Cole, Kravitz and Waterman LLP?

Upon the advice of counsel, I must respectfully decline to answer your question, based on my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Did you, October 12th of last year, accept as a client the government of the Asian Republic of Indonesia, for the purpose of campaigning against the levy of additional Federal duties on the importation of palm oil into the United States?

Upon the advice of counsel, I must respectfully decline to answer your question, based on my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Today is a landmark day, you know why?

Because I'm free.

Name one thing you can do today that you couldn't have done yesterday.

Quit my job.

You could've done that yesterday, but it would've been stupid.

I can quit today and... It'd still be stupid.

You clear your college debt and celebrate by enrolling in post-grad?

Academia's more my scene.

You didn't follow me into the crapper to gloat about freedom, Jane.

Talk to me about the Nutella Tax.

Uh, we're really calling it the "Nutella Tax"?

Palm oil is a key ingredient in Nutella.

If the Federal Government taxes it at 300%, it'll cost more for us to gorge ourselves on it.

Isn't palm oil in pretty much everything?

We could have called it the Soap Tax, but the public cares more about Nutella than they do soap.

Anyway, we get four more senators to come out against the bill, we can lean on Jacobs to withdraw it.

What are you gonna do?

Tell the Indonesians they're going to host Senator Jacobs on a field trip to one of their plantations.

You never washed your hands.

He'll take the wife and kids on a tropical vacation.

Come back hailing their conservation efforts.

His bill dies a quiet death.

If the Indonesian government pays for it, it's illegal.

If they use a non-profit c3 to sponsor the travel, it's perfectly legal.

As long as the trip is for educational purposes.

But, the Indonesian government is still paying for it.

See, this is why I'm thinking about post-grad.

Jane, we go to school to prepare us for the real world.

I'm not sure I like the real world.

So you want to bury your head in Socrates?

You know that Socrates never actually wrote anything.

That's beside the point.

If you don't like it, you change it.

That's why you're here. Miss Sloane!

They're ready for you in the conference room.

Hey, Spencer, did you know that Americans care more about Nutella than they do about soap?

Uh, okay.

See that?

No reaction.

Okay, guys, we gotta be quick this morning, I've got a meeting to get to.

How many are they expecting at the IMF rally?

Between 500 and 1,000.

There's a margin of 100%?

Does that technically mean that nobody might show up?

Five hundred's the minimum, the rest depends on weather.

Seems more people hate banks when the sun's out.

What's the weather forecast? Liz?

Time we sold Jacobs on Indonesia.

I know.

When Henry falls we've got... Critical mass, I'm aware.

Get a non-profit to sponsor a vacation.

They give him face and he'll pull it.

Did you just come from the ladies' room?

Uh, I have no idea what you're talking about.

We're talking about numbers at the IMF rally.

All right, Alex, put Metro Talent on notice, we may need reinforcements. I'm on it.

We're really gonna use movie extras?

The guy shouting about corporate greed becomes a lot less credible standing next to a hobo from central casting, with a banner that reads, "Abolish money."

"Shit is fucked up

"and bullshit."

Best banner at Occupy. Tell me that was one of ours.

Oh, no, that was creative way beyond my capabilities.

Franklin! Shmallow Cakes? Uh, yeah!

Does sales tax apply to cakes and cookies, or only to one of those?

I don't know.

You don't know?

All right, everybody, listen up!

I'm going to tell you a story.

Please, no.

A priest is giving a young nun a lift home from church one day, and as he's shifting gears, he rests his hand on the nun's knee.

This is offensive and inappropriate.

The young nun looks up at the priest and says, "Father, remember Luke 14:10."

The priest withdraws his hand, embarrassed.

Next time they stop at a light, he places his hand a little higher up on her thigh, again the nun says, "Remember Luke 14:10, Father."

The priest apologizes.

"The flesh is weak," he says.

So he drops her off, and when he gets home, he reaches for his bible and he flips to Luke 14:10.

Anyone know what it says? Hmm?

What does it say, Pat?

"Friend, come up higher, then shalt thou have glory!"

Know your subject, people!

Failure to do so may result in the loss of a golden opportunity.

When I see you this afternoon, you'd better be ready to recite that tax code in Esperanto.

I'm... I'm told I should offer her my hand, huh?

How do you mean?

Well, when we meet, I'm told that she doesn't care for all that kissy-kissy stuff that most women do these days.

You two have never met?

Well, we've been to several of the same functions, yeah, but we've never been introduced.

In a town this small, how does that happen?

So, should I offer my hand?

I wouldn't worry about it.

Liz? Good morning!

Bill Sandford.

I'm amazed it's taken this long.

Well, you know, I wanted to introduce myself at the Free Enterprise Dinner, but you were the first one out the door.

Minor crisis on the Hill.

Well, a lesser commander would've left that to a soldier, which is the reason I'm here.

Why exactly are you here?

Killing bills like Heaton-Harris, that's food and drink to you guys.

So you've read it? No, but I know what it is.

It's a bipartisan gun bill requiring universal background checks.

On all sales of firearms.

Now, come on.

A father and his son, lifelong friends.

It just means longer delays.

It's some kind of Big Brother type criminal and mental health database.

An unconstitutional fetter on the Second Amendment which, as you said, we will eat for breakfast.

Mr. Sandford, I deal primarily in taxation and Federal Government interference in free enterprise. This...

I'm aware, I am aware.

But I'll tell you, the reputation you have garnered for yourself, we were just looking for an excuse to engage you.

Okay. Let's have it.

Women.

Our polling data is telling us that we're not connecting with the female voter.

So, we want to change the narrative.

From mothers losing their kids to guns, to mothers protecting their kids with guns.

From a battered wife threatened by a bullet, to fending off her violent husband with a.38.

Guns as tools of female empowerment.

What's the saying? God created humans...

Samuel Colt made them equal.

Now, Liz, imagine a new organization, pitched at women who are deterred by the strong rhetoric of the Second Amendment groups, and by our association with the political right.

But no links to us, no baggage.

No overt position on guns.

And you will build it up, you will drive its agenda, and slowly but surely, you will turn those members into paid-up guardians of the Second Amendment.

So, what? Um...

Mothers For A Safer America...

Achieved by making sure every last citizen is armed to the teeth?

Liz?

Jesus, is this the reputation I've garnered?

Gold medalist in ethical limbo?

I see no ethical problem with reframing an issue.

Trying to win the female vote by taking the gun lobby and dressing it up in a frilly pink frock, it is so crude, it could only have originated in a room full of old men.

Well, it didn't!

This is my own idea.

Well, my advice is to kill it in utero.

You'll need more than the trite wisdom that we value security to get us behind your views on the Second Amendment.

Well, the fact remains that when it comes to the female voter, our numbers need to be better.

I see.

Well, why don't I take a look at the numbers and then we'll proceed from there?

Who the hell does she think she is?

It can be spun.

For the purpose of gaining trust, it may've been the right tactical move.

And do you believe, for one nanosecond, that was at the forefront of her mind when she told him to take his business and shove it up his gun barrel?

Candice!

I want Sloane in my office now!

She's good, isn't she?

You'll look at the numbers?

I'm sure the president of one of the most powerful groups on the Hill will be honored that Her Majesty has agreed to look at the fucking numbers!

What's going on with you?

The current system is so porous, it floats.

I don't remember you caring, ever, one way or another about guns!

My position solidified somewhere between Columbine and Charleston.

Come on, George, any head-case, felon or terrorist can buy an assault rifle from a gun show, the Internet, or his buddy at the Bowl-O-Rama without so much as an ID.

Heaton-Harris puts a stop to that.

Christ, Liz, this is the gun lobby.

Do you have any idea how long I've been trying to reel them in?

No.

Something happened.

Someone you know was the victim of a gun crime.

Nonsense. I just formed an opinion.

You're the champion of the free market.

You abhor frivolous government intervention...

I would hardly categorize responsible gun laws as frivolous...

Indonesians!

For Christ's sake, you rep Indonesians!

To stop our government from looting one of their few sources of income.

And what is wrong with Indonesia?

We're about to secure Al Jacobs with a field trip there.

Is that a promise or a threat?

I can just picture the good Senator being boiled in a cauldron with all these natives dancing around him.

Get back to your Fortune 500 clients.

Your colorful interventions are the cause of a lot of industry backchat this firm could do without.

I work on behalf of causes I believe in.

That's how I sleep at night.

You don't sleep at night.

You sit and obsess about winning, no matter the cause.

Those little pills in your purse are not the kind that lull you to sleep.

The only reason you and your team of gum-chewing ragamuffins are here is that your arrogant pranks might generate enough buzz to attract clients like Bill Sandford.

Meaning, if you don't dedicate yourself to his cause, this firm won't have any use for you.

Now go away, look into those numbers, and start getting women into guns.

Any dizziness? Nausea? No.

That's what you always say.

Doctor, I'm fine.

If my insurance company weren't such sticklers, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

What time are you getting to sleep?

I sleep a lot, it varies.

What time did you get to sleep last night?

Did you get any sleep at all?

These are busy times.

You don't need a doctor to tell you that you're working yourself into an early grave.

The long hours...

Okay, when you called me just now, what number did you dial?

Your home number.

Cell is off, cocoa is on the stove, book is at my bedside.

I'll be asleep in under two hours.

Thanks for calling, Doctor.

In the Republican party, he can help you out in California...

Okay!

Good, welcome.

Yes! Yeah.

I want you to meet Senator Davidson.

Yes. I appreciate you coming to every fundraiser.

Yeah, I'll be right back.


Hello! I expect to see you next time.

Yes. That would be great.

Yes, nice to see you.

Early night?

If you're looking for a quote, you're wasting your time.

I've just watched you extricate yourself from three conversations to use the ladies' room in the space of 30 minutes.

You busted me. I'm incontinent. Write it up.

I hope I'm wrong, but one might think you're sick of this town.

You from the Post? How did you get in?

I'd just like five minutes of your time.

Fine.

Walk to my car is three, get to the point.

The word on the Hill is that the gun lobby approached you over Heaton-Harris and you refused.

I don't comment on "word on the Hill."

I know the only way you'd do that is if you support the bill.

That's quite a story.

Turning down a prized client because you can't accept what they stand for.

Elizabeth Sloane, the conviction lobbyist. Who knew?

I said, get to the point.

Will you admit the present system is broken?

I remain committed to the Second Amendment.

Dildos are illegal in Texas, but Joe Public can walk into a sports store and walk out with a shotgun.

That would explain the low rate of dildo-related murders in Texas.

Okay, it wasn't that funny.

What do you want?

Your quote.

Fine. A conviction lobbyist need only believe in their ability to win.

That's a keeper.

One more thing, off the record.

Mmm-hmm. What do you know about the gun lobby's opponents? The Brady Campaign?

I know they're going to lose because their total budget is less than what the gun lobby pays to get their shoes shined.

What about their lobbyists, Peterson Wyatt?

They're a boutique bipartisan Government Affairs agency.

"Boutique" is a euphemism for "little fish."

"Bipartisan" denotes a bunch of hippies in suits.

Do you know anything about their CEO?

Guy named Schmidt?

No, never heard of him.

But if the firm is built in his image, I'm sure he's a simpering wuss with a Ph.D in style-over-substance.

Got it.

I never introduced myself, by the way.

My name's Rodolfo Schmidt, CEO of Peterson Wyatt.

What's the matter?

Am I not simpering hard enough?

Your firm's 12 years old, I'd think your name would be Peterson or...

What...

What is this about?

You're pro-Heaton-Harris.

It's an open secret you're at war with your firm's leadership.

The Brady Campaign wants you to lead the fight to pass the bill.

You'd run defense out of our office.

When it's over, you can choose from any of the D.C. behemoths lining up for your signature.

This is Peterson Wyatt's quote for your services.

I don't know if I should be flattered or insulted, Mr. Schmidt, but you clearly have the wrong opinion of me.

I think my opinion of you is right on.

Don't tell me you don't want to take a swing at this.

Goodbye, Mr. Schmidt.

Where's your car?

Should be at the valet by now. I don't drive.


Hi, Jane?

Yeah, I know what time it is.

Listen...

If, uh, Socrates never wrote anything, how is it anyone's ever heard of him?

Look, we need a meeting.

Where are they putting Senator Jacobs?

The Lombok Lodge?

Yes.

It's on the beach? Yes.

Good.

This goes off to the Senate Ethics Committee.

Once they authorize the travel, Jacobs is on a plane.

Is that okay? It's fine.

Technically, I mean? Don't worry about it.

It's just... As lobbyists, we can't be involved in arranging overseas travel for members of Congress.

I read ethics regs when I want to look busy.

If you weren't just pretending to be busy, you'd know that the workaround is to get this to the non-profit, have them sign and file with the Ethics Committee.

Do I seem unduly concerned?

Okay.

George told me what happened with Sandford.

Mmm. Are you retarded?

Why are you eating a chocolate cake for breakfast?

Have you no shame? It's a muffin.

You never had a muffin for breakfast?

A muffin, let's see.

Eggs, milk, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate.

That sounds exactly like a cake, but of course, no civilized person would ever eat a chocolate cake for breakfast.

You've lost your mind.

Franklin, are you getting this?

'Cause I'm really talking to you.

Huh?

Shmallow Cakes aren't really cakes.

They're marshmallow paste sandwiched between two cookies covered in chocolate.

And while our tax code deems cakes luxury items and hits them harder, cookies are obviously necessities, and therefore exempt.

Are you getting this? What?

Have Shmallow Cakes re-designated as cookies, argue cake in the name is merely marketing puff.

You'll need evidence in court, but get a team of scientists to opine that they are in fact 80% cookie and zero percent cake.

That's how you win.

You knew that all along?

You would have got there eventually.

Then why are you telling me this?

In case you're not coming with me.

What's going on?

All right, everyone.

I called you here to announce that, effective immediately, I am leaving Cole Kravitz and starting work as lead consultant for the Brady Campaign at Peterson Wyatt.

I've secured positions for everyone in this room without change to your current compensation.

So, who's with me on this?

I just spent the last hour wiping your shit off Bill Sandford's shoes, assuring him that you're the right lady to broaden his membership!

We're inches from a green fucking light!

So, you're saying I should put you down as a maybe?

You can't possibly win this!

Who's with me?

I'm with you.

Whoa, whoa, Ross, hey, come on, I need you.

She needs me more.

Alex?

Lauren?

The fuck is this? Jerry Maguire?

You've seen Jerry Maguire?

Guns frighten me.

So, Sloane and Co. versus Connors and who else?

Mmm. O'Hara, Wickman, Moore, the God Squad.

Ramirez,

how many Tec-9s do you own again?

Enough to defend my property.

Plus two more to piss off the lefties.

All right, Jane, contact Rodolfo Schmidt at Peterson Wyatt, and tell him there's a total of six coming over.

I count five.

Mathematician you are not.

Who said I was coming?

I did. Call Rodolfo.

What if I'm staying?

Jesus, now is not the time to develop a sense of humor, Jane.

That's good, 'cause I'm not.

Seriously, kid, go.

I could care less.

You were right before.

About post-grad. Maybe it is a cop-out.

I'm at one of the best firms in the city.

Your reputation might survive a move to some third-tier outfit to fight a losing battle.

Mine won't.

No shit.

I take it back.

I've learned a lot from you these last couple years, Liz.

I'll miss you.

The 3:00 a.m. wake-up calls?

Not so much.

You've obviously learned more than you let on.

You've shown more ambition in the last 60 seconds than I've seen in the prior two years, but you are delusional if you think you can survive without me.

If we butt heads on this, don't think I'll show you any compassion.

And with that in mind, I will give you a final opportunity to reconsider.

All right. I'm off to say my goodbye to the money-man.

When this town guts you like a trout and chokes you with your own entrails, don't come sniveling to me.

We'll come back to the Asian Republic of Indonesia later, but, you see, what troubles me is the amount of influence you had.

We've seen communications from senior figures in Washington who feared that you, a lobbyist, could destroy their careers with a snap of your fingers.

Is this reputation something you've cultivated, Miss Sloane?

Upon the advice of counsel, I must respectfully decline to answer your question, based on my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

You see, it's bad enough one person having that much influence, but if they're out of control, if she has a problem, an addiction, well, it would be like the ship of American politics is being steered by a drunk.

Do you, or have you ever had, any problems with substance abuse?

Upon the advice of counsel, I must respectfully decline to answer your question, based on my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I understand you have difficulty sleeping?

We subpoenaed medical records.

You're a long-time sufferer from chronic insomnia.

You regularly work over 16 hours a day.

But you can't get off to sleep. Is this accurate?

Upon the advice of counsel, I respectfully...

I must respectfully decline to answer your question, based on my rights under the Fifth Amendment of the United States...

To the Constitution.

Whatever.

You were prescribed multiple courses of benzodiazepines, but according to the deposition of one of our witnesses, you've been procuring, off-prescription, a course of psycho-stimulants, with the aim of keeping you awake a little longer.

Is this true?

Miss Sloane?

Upon the advice of counsel, I must respectfully decline to answer your question, based on my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Okay. Getting back to this business of the Asian Republic of Indonesia...

I am not a drug addict, and this line of questioning has no revel...

Relevance in this case.

My medication doesn't affect my judgment any more than a double espresso.

And speaking of intoxication, I can recite from memory a list of upstanding, elected Senators who voted on legislation while severely inebriated.

And just so you know, I think, by now, we are fully aware, and in no danger of forgetting, that Indonesia is a republic, which happens to be situated on the continent of Asia.

Miss Sloane.

Welcome to the party.

Five years.

Was it really worth it?

Five years minimum. What's five years?

All for some puerile quip about Indonesia being in Asia.

Can't you see that whole construct was designed to...

And it worked.

Are you gonna tell me what five years is?

You fell for it.

The smartest operative on the Hill just got played by Grampa Simpson!

Is it how long this conversation's gonna feel like?

It's the going rate for perjury before Congress.

Now you've thrown out the Fifth, anyone who wants you in the ground, and that's a lot of people, they're hard at work dedicating their creative and intellectual efforts to catching you in a lie.

Well, what if I just stay silent?

Well, that's a great idea.

Shit, why didn't your lawyer think of that?

If I refuse to answer...

They'll throw you in jail for contempt of Congress! Shh!

You've just blown this thing wide open!

Calm down, Daniel.

You're starting to look like you care.

No.

I don't care about you any further than I can throw you.

I work for the one ethical lobbying practice on the Hill, and I wind up defending the poster child for the most morally bankrupt profession since faith healing.

Your car's downstairs.

Go home, stare at the ceiling, get ready to be crucified.

I know I don't have the most stellar record in heeding your advice...

Don't perjure yourself!

Too bad things didn't pan out with Elizabeth.

Oh, we have other options.

What the hell is "Amish chicken"?

A marketing exercise?

No, we'll just try and find ourselves another lobbyist.

I was talking about the Amish chicken.

Oh.

She's your enemy now.

I invited you here because nobody is better placed to neutralize her than us.

We worked together for years.

We know exactly how she operates.

Oh, that is just a regular bird raised in Amish country, by the way.

Ah.

It tastes better because it can't use Google, huh?

Look, there's over five million of us.

And we're armed.

We've beaten this kind of bill before, we'll beat it again.

They'll make a lot of noise, they'll wave their banners, but in the end it's so predictable.

She's not predictable.

She aims to surprise.

She'll share things with her team, but she won't share everything.

She'll have a plan for certain people, but they won't know until they're dropped right into the middle of it.

There's always something else going on with her.

It's just how she works.

We have a good idea which Senators she'll go for and we can get in first.

And they're vulnerable on other members they're already counting on.

Badgley, Michigan.

He can bring maybe six votes.

We get to him, it's a quick win.

All right.

Show me some tradecraft.

Filet mignon, rare. Same, well done.

Well done too.

The Arctic char.

Amish chicken salad, please.

Excuse me.

That kind of insight is exactly why you're here.

I'm sorry, who closed him again?

Who the hell are you?

Evening, ma'am.

What happened to the usual guy? Mark.

If that's his real name.

Mark's moved on.

Call me Forde.

Is that your real name?

Is to you.

How about you, gorgeous? Oh, God.

You a politico, or one of these corporate-types?

What brings a fine lady like you to room 904?

Not the conversation. How much you had to drink?

Well, a free minibar, I'd say not nearly enough.

You're not allowed to smoke in here.

You're not allowed to buy company in here, yet here you are.

Smoke is detectable.

It could draw attention. It is unprofessional.

Okay.

Corporate-type. Lawyer, maybe.

If we're going to proceed, I require a certain standard of...

Agency rules, lady.

Payment in cash, I'm the only one to know this little party here ever happened.

And that's with half a minibar down my gullet.

I understand if you were looking for something else.

You'll do fine.

Let's get to the point.

All right.

Hey, I hope you guys don't feel like you're slumming.

I thought it'd be weirder.

Bean bags, couple swings, maybe.

At least tell me you guys have shower rooms.

Cole Kravitz had shower rooms?

Clients felt like they needed one after 30 minutes with him.

We had all the facilities, and no time to use them.

This'll do fine.

The vending machine downstairs is weird.

Wouldn't give me my beverage until I told it my gender and age range.

The vending machine company sells our personal details to Big Advertising.

I already posted a complaint.

It's okay, I just lied.

You told it you were an adult male?

Why are you so horrible to him?

Jacobs just pulled the Nutella Tax.

When did that happen? I just got it.

The tax on palm oil? You're the ones who killed it?

Dead with the dodo.

Along with how many other unique species in the Indonesian rainforest?

Not your greatest analogy there.

I guess it should be up to them, I mean, it is, after all, their country.

Do you know how much pollution their slashing and burning pumps into the atmosphere?

Less than 0.2% of global greenhouse emissions.

So, are the rumors true? Yes.

Ross is really a woman.

Is Sloane the personification of an ice cube?

She pees standing up.

And, like... I don't even do that.

Do you think before you speak?

Good morning. Good morning.

Morning. Morning.

I was thinking, perhaps, we go around the table, introduce ourselves.

Let's spare ourselves the tedium.

If you want to break the ice, do it with insight.

We're all here to ensure safe passage of the Heaton-Harris Bill into Federal law.

How do we do it?

Realistically, we don't.

We fight as hard as we can, build a strong base of support, so we have a better chance when they introduce next year's Heaton-Harris, or the one after that.

I didn't just move across town with the aim of losing as slowly as possible.

Name and seniority?

Esme Manucharian, nine years.

Manucharian, I've heard that name.

Esme's our authority on gun control.

When it comes to facts and figures, she has no equal.

You led the fight to preserve the concealed carry ban in Illinois.

Ultimately unsuccessfully, but, yes.

Okay, Esme. Why are we going to lose?

For every dollar Brady spends on campaign contributions, you know how much the gun lobby spends?

Thirty-eight. Thirty-eight.

So, politicians bow to money. But, why?

It's not going into their pocket, that'd be bribery.

Like what the Indonesians just did to Senator Jacobs?

That was legal bribery for educational purposes. But, yes.

A senator's priority isn't representing the people, it's keeping his ass in office.

That is so cynical.

"Cynical" is a word used by Pollyannas to denote an absence of the naivety they so keenly exhibit.

Wow. You settle in fast.

If senators only care about protecting their position, wouldn't that make them slaves to public opinion?

Polling data puts a majority of Americans in favor of Heaton-Harris.

And that's exactly why you keep losing.

Well, this is actually our first crack at guns, but I take your point.

What point?

Public opinion is overrated.

Midterm re-election rates for senators was 82%.

Voter turnout was 36.

And I'll bet most of them were paid-up members of the gun lobby.

Thank you.

Our opposition has created a base of voters, vast and fanatical, who go out and vote exclusively on the issue of guns.

How do we compete with that?

We build our own base of supporters, who demonstrate a willingness to get their asses into booths and vote against guns.

What's the best indicator of voter intention?

Money! Finance!

That's our first prong.

Grassroots action aimed squarely at soliciting donations.

Not names on a petition, not clicks in cyberspace.

Will they know how much we're raising?

Non-profits have to report on their finances.

And every Congressional staffer watches filing day like a hawk.

While you're out there hustling, I'll be working influential senators who can deliver their colleagues' votes.

That's our second prong.

Our third is to identify who holds sway in target states.

Employers, workers' groups.

Don't just waltz into a senator's office and make your case.

Find out who they trust, who they can't afford to piss off.

Convince that person to make your case.

That is how we win.

Not a driver?

I can, but I don't.

Well, you got further than me, I don't even have a license.

My bank account and liberal conscience won't justify my own car.

What's your excuse?

To be honest, I suck at it.

I took my test when I was 16.

Only exam I ever failed.

My instructor told me I was reckless, I lacked due care and attention.

Knew then and there I had a career in politics.

You weren't messing around in there.

Did you know someone?

Someone who was a victim of gun violence.

No, why does everyone assume that?

Strong opinions, maybe?

As if I can only see the merits of an argument when I feel the effects personally.

There was a Congressman, I don't remember his name, his whole career he was against gay rights, only to do a complete U-turn when his brother came out.

What a well-reasoned basis for an opinion.

Give him a gavel, put him in a courthouse.

Are you hungry?

You eat here every night?

Pretty much. Place never closes.

How do you not get bored of it?

It's a necessity.

It's like asking if I get bored of going to the toilet.

Okay, this is going to sound alien to you, but food takes up an inordinate amount of space in my head.

How about guns?

In doing my due diligence, your résumé stood out.

I noticed a lot of your work pertains to firearms.

I'm guessing that was a conscious decision to steer things in that direction.

It's an issue I feel strongly about.

It's none of my business, but there was a gap in your profile.

Before Berkeley, you attended high school in Bloomington, Indiana, in the late '90s.

The name of the school isn't listed.

Who else knows about this?

Rodolfo. That's all.

You can imagine what I'm thinking.

I'm sorry, Elizabeth, but I earned my reputation.

It didn't come from something that happened when I was in high school.

Even if my views did.

Going public could even weaken my standing.

They'll say I'm too emotional.

Anyway, the shooters didn't even buy their guns.

Heaton-Harris wouldn't have made a shred of difference that day.

You fear a weakened standing will damage your ability to effect change.

But if acknowledging it was the difference between winning and losing?

I'd appreciate it if you just treated me as one of the team.

A highly competent one, I can tell.

We're lucky to have you.

Sixty is the magic number.

Sixty votes breaks a filibuster.

So, the gun lobby wins with 41?

They could win with fewer.

We need to hit 60. Anything less doesn't cut it.

Fifty-nine doesn't cut it.

We need 60 senators to show up and vote.

We don't get that, they win, period.

As I was saying...

That by my reckoning, the gun lobby has 34 votes pretty much locked.

And that's this side.

I'd say we have 44 locked over here on this side.

That leaves 22 that are still in play.

These fine ladies and gentlemen in the middle.

Heaton-Harris, provisionally, makes it to the floor in 84 days.

The good news is, if we can lock 16, we're over the line.

I'm sorry, that's the good news?

We need 16 out of 22 votes?

That's like sitting an exam where the passing grade is...

72%.

And the bad news is that the gun lobby is rich beyond our wildest dreams?

There is that.

Or that it's not a whole lot of time to steal 16 votes from the most powerful group in D.C.?

That, too.

What Ross is fumbling for is, we need 16.

They only need seven.

Shit.

...and the man who did this robbed us of their smiles, of their laughter.

And I just can't accept that we allowed it to happen.

Our beautiful girls, and we could have stopped it.

We could have taken the gun out of his hand and my babies...

Jesus Christ.

We get the idea.

Brenda and Joel Patterson.

The shooting sparked a new wave of anti-gun sentiment in Wisconsin.

And that was more than a month ago.

It's not dying down.

Brenda's become a prominent figure in the Mothers Demand Action movement.

Public outrage after a gun attack lasts maybe a week per casualty.

This whole Pattinson story should be in the ground by now.

Patterson. Huh?

Their name. The Patterson family.

I don't give a shit if they're the fucking Partridge Family.

This is her.

Sandford needs to know.

Our delivery must be tailored for maximum impact.

Support for gun control is up 8% in the last two weeks.

Both Wisconsin senators are vulnerable.

If they don't declare for Heaton-Harris, Kirkpatrick won't make it through the fall, and Wallace is toast in two years...

Who's going to that medical thing?

Senator Wallace.

He can deliver two other moderates.

And sure as she was born screaming, she'll see that as her chance to box them in.

No, Carlos, that's unacceptable.

The media has to be there, that's the whole point.

It has to be digitally stored and ready to be trotted out should he even think about backing down.

I'm gonna send you a photo of Clara Thomson.

She'll be front-left, wearing a...

Clara, what are you wearing?

One-shoulder black crepe dress.

A one-shoulder black crepe dress.

If we're lucky, it'll be the only one in the room.

Thanks, Carlos.

Hey, Alex, tell me it's feasible that a doctor wouldn't have time for all this social media bullshit.

Yeah, if you're pulling 15-hour shifts, I guess.

Great.

But he'd be on Doximity probably.

The Medical version of LinkedIn.

Could you not have just stopped when I said "great"?

Good morning.

Light reading?

Do you even know what pulmonology is?

Yes, I do.

It's the study of pulmon.

Lungs are asymmetrical. Right has three lobes, left two.

You know why?

Your heart needs the real estate?

Bravo.

All right, everybody, listen up!

Not a problem for you, I should imagine.

What have they got? Come on! Arguments and rebuttals.

Let's have it, wake up!

It's the first step toward a national register of firearms.

Scare mongering.

No one's even come close to proposing that.

And if they did, it would have its own day in Congress. Next.

And it's two steps away from confiscation.

The gun lobby's rhetoric is based on the falsehood that we want to take something away from people. We don't.

We want to make it more difficult for dangerous people to buy firearms.

If we can't burst this fallacy, we may as well go home.

Esme, get me a bio on Wendy Furniss, please?

Sure. Harwood Norton's CEO?

Mmm-hmm. Second largest employer in Virginia.

Both senators are teetering, but if I can get her to reach out to them...

You don't see the irony in asking the CEO of a defense contractor to advocate for a ban on guns?

We're not banning anything!

Jesus, you sound like one of them.

I'm in character.

Next!

Uh, the new rules will increase wait times by two weeks.

Welcome to America, where you'll wait six months for an X-ray, but, hey, you can buy an AR-15 in five minutes flat.

You going to be that flippant in public?

Pussyfooting isn't memorable. Sound bites are.

And the appropriate one goes like this, anyone that desperate to get their hands on a gun shouldn't be allowed anywhere near one.

The total number of MRI machines in Wisconsin...

If the good Senator ever finishes this speech, he will open it to the floor.

You'll be question number three.

You think he'll go for it?

He knows the media is here, won't risk being heckled at his own fundraiser.

Back him into a corner, and he'll have no choice.

...of an additional $2 million for the purchase of four brand-new machines within the first year of my next term.

Thank you.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

All right, a few more questions for the Senator, then we'll wrap up.

Uh, yes, the lady in white.

Mr. Senator, I'm Chair of the Westfield Center...

He was supposed to go to me third, what's he doing?

Followi ng orders.

Three tables behind you, two to the right.

They've been tracking us through Wisconsin.

They would have had everyone on that list vetted.

You're blown.

What do you mean?

I mean that it's time for plan B.

And our final question goes to Dr. Raj Amarasekara.

I hope I'm pronouncing that right.

Of the Pulmonary Associates of America.

Thank you.

Raj Amarasekara is a working actor named Matthew Kantaria.

They think he's about to ask a benign question about the clean air initiative.

...it's a safe bet we'll see three or four gunshot victims.

Some are kids, teenagers.

How do you intend to vote on the Heaton-Harris Bill when it's put before Congress?

Well...

As you have experienced, uh, gun violence is a real problem...

You decoyed me?

Raj Amarasekara has personally plagiarized seven research papers, all available online.

He even has a Doximity account.

...financial burden is the fact that some of the victims are the, um...

Kids.

The young.

So, I think it's, uh, first and foremost, to put our sympathies with the families of these victims.

But it's true, gun violence puts an enormous strain on our healthcare system and its work force.

Absolutely, yes.

That's why I intend to give my whole-hearted support to the Heaton-Harris Bill.

And that's a wrap.

Thank you. Absolutely, thank you.

Who else does he bring?

Fascitelli and Garcia.

Hey, Esme, I have a surprise for you on Wednesday.

We're going to a new restaurant?

How about a Second Amendment debate at NYU Law School?

Don't shout this from the rooftops, but I trust you to do a better job than anyone else on the team.

You can't make it?

I'm including myself as part of the team.

I wasn't cool enough to relate to college kids when I was a college kid.

I'll forward you the details.

You again.

I called them and I specifically asked for Mark.

And I specifically told you he skipped town.

Well, what agency did he move to?

How should I know?

I ain't his parole officer.

He's in trouble?

I was kidding.

Aww, we had so much fun the other night.

Well, you know where the door is, lady.

Go run to your Mark.


I've got work to do tonight.

Big case?

Forde, human interaction is an exchange.

My money for your...

Dick?

I was gonna say "skill set."

But that's the only exchange I'm willing to make.

Now you sound like a banker.

I got to do prep anyways.

For what?

Another client, tomorrow night.

You do prep?

For functions.

Believe it or not, not everyone hires me for my skill set.

Half my clients just want me on their arm.

Some just want someone to talk to from a different neck of the woods, who ain't gonna judge them. That is so pathetic.

Functions are different.

The agency gave me a list of covers.

Insurance exec, marketing guy.

Tomorrow is oil and gas.

I'll be seeing you.

I think you owe me something more.

No, it's all there. Count it.

This covers my services.

But I just gave you a whole lot of information about my line of work.

On your principles of exchange...

Oh, my God!

Okay, that was a voluntary donation on your part.

I pay you so I can imagine a life I chose to forego in the pursuit of my career.

So, why don't you go out and get it?

It's not for me.

Not when I was in my early 20s, and sure as hell not now.

So, "no house you call home, "no folks you call family," sort of thing, huh? Uh-uh.

You ever regret that? Not for a second.

At least now we're peeling a layer.

And that is all my principles of exchange will allow.

Goodbye, Forde.

If you're a terrorist, or someone who shouldn't be allowed on that plane, which lane are you going to walk through?

Yeah, well, obviously...

Thursday morning.

Okay, I'll hold.

Lauren! Boston, Thursday! Got it!

I deleted every vestige of my online existence.

You didn't replace it, leaving a Clara-sized hole in Google, which they flagged in due diligence.

I did replace it.

Esme!

Clara Thomson just returned from a 2-year stint with Médecins Sans Frontières. It was solid.

Why didn't you tell me about Raj...

Just call him Matthew.

I checked with Finance.

Your actor wasn't paid from our account.

You ran him out of your own pocket.

It's good practice to keep your circle small.

In this town, no matter where you are, you're never more than two feet away from a rat.

Hey! I want you on the podium at the ARS dinner.

Wait, that's a huge deal.

You don't think we should share the public speaking a little?

And blow all the goodwill you've racked up?

I'm not sure I'm comfortable in the spotlight.

Doing all the press.

Get comfortable, that ship has sailed.

Hey, yes. Thursday morning, I'll be there.

Every day, 48 children or teens are shot.

That's not across the world, folks, that's right here in America.

We are joined right now by a representative from the Brady Campaign, Esme Manchurian. It's Manucharian.

Knocking on doors, making house calls?

How long did it take you to even get to this place?

Consider it a sign of how important it is that we get you on board.

Why?

In your long and distinguished career, you've done precisely jack-shit for feminism.

Because gender doesn't interest me.

The only thing you're missing is a dick.

I think your presence in the room would be a great help as I make our case to Senator Hofland.

God willing, we can help protect our neighbors from the kind of tragedy America has endured...

Esme... Manchurian.

Manucharian.

In this country, nine women are shot and killed by their intimate partners every week.

The risk of homicide goes up 500%...

Don't hurl stats at me, I'm not a fucking journalist.

You think I don't know all this?

Does your membership?

Because now would be a great time to tell them.

Larsson and Parr have donated millions of their personal fortunes.

Yeah. I can't go hat-in-hand for more.

Hey, Manchurian!

Mandel's on the brink, I need conversational topics.

What do you mean? Small talk.

Idle nonsense of no import to anything.

You outsource your social interactions?

Yeah. Interests, hobbies... Kids!

There's no better way to butter up a parent than to tell him how hot his kids are.

On it.

The last time we met, your youngest was knocking on the door of the Ivy League.

Yes. Logan, was it?

Christ! I can't even remember that conversation.

Mandy Hamlyn from the American Nurses Association on line three! Ah!

I think there are a great many on the Hill who have become so accustomed to your generous support, it wouldn't hurt to give them a short, sharp shock.

Your donors, don't ask for more. Ask for less.

If you feel strongly about Heaton-Harris, you could do worse than to pledge to cut ties to any senator who doesn't come out in favor.

So, what, we're turning the screw, and saving money at the same time?

I don't want to live in a society where there is a new school shooting every week!

That is why when put to vote, I will be supporting the Heaton-Harris Bill!

It came in anonymously, but everyone's thinking Bloomberg.

Five hundred grand? That's over 12% of our budget!

If you were donating that much, why would you do it anonymously?

Obvious reason.

What? Privacy? No.

It makes you look noble when you leak your identity.

Oh, my God. Were you born that cynical?

That is just a word to denote the absence...

Of the naivety I so keenly exhibit? Yeah, right.

Back on in three, people.

Since when were you camera-shy?

What happened? You find a wrinkle?

If it isn't Bill Sandford's poodle.

Let me guess, on a tight leash, sniffing at his ass for business?

If you weren't such a joke, we'd already have his business.

So how about this?

Give Mini-Me a day off, and I'll give you a shot at the title.

Live TV debate, you and me.

You must be desperate if you're willing to give me airtime.

I kick your bony ass hard enough, Bill Sandford will realize why he came to us in the first place.

Uh-uh. You need me strong to make him worried.

You're not looking so strong after a head-on with me.

All right. I'll grant you a job interview on national television.

You can show your master what a big, tough dog you are.

What we're about to discuss should only be referred to in code in the office and over e-mail.

My ex-employers aren't beyond bugging and hacking.

You think our conference room is wearing a wire?

We're gonna target a senator from a state we have zero right to swing.

Oh, please, God, don't say...

Alberto Gomez, Republican, Florida.

What?

I thought you were gonna say Missouri.

Florida's preposterous.

I'm being optimistic.

Public opinion runs against Heaton-Harris in Florida.

Let's talk later. In the office?

How do I register my dissent? By semaphore?

Alex, you're in charge of ad banners, you have a 2:00 at JWT.

I want two phone pitches.

Clara, Brian, Lauren, you're one.

Cynthia, Esme, Franklin, you're two.

Ross, get stats to both. Come on, get to it.

What the hell are you thinking?

That you should let me do my job.

This ain't Cole Kravitz, damn it.

Our client's a non-profit, not some cashed-up conglomerate.

I'm hiding in the bushes with my begging bowl, waiting to leap out at anyone who looks like money, and you're getting ready to set fire to half a million dollars on some hare-brained...

I mean this James Bond shit's endearingly wacky, but if you think you're seriously going to get any traction out of Florida, you're way out.

Rodolfo, it was explicit in your pitch to lure me here that you held a certain degree of trust in my ability to run this campaign.

George, it's me.

I know what I'm doing.

We need to talk about Florida.

And I don't do hare-brained.

Fucking A right.

From the way you been kicking my ass all morning, I'm starting to think you invited yourself here just to kick my ass.

I'm personally in favor of Heaton-Harris.

I've publicly declared, my voters are behind me.

Did you want to meet just to kick my ass?

Look, you're sitting on six votes.

Sandford's not a punk, he knows the opposition's counting on them.

He also knows if they don't get them, their campaign will be over.

So, what are you gonna do?

Walk into my club, bend me over a green baize table, and give me the spiel about freedom?

About how, if the liberals get their way, in a couple of hundred years, the Second Amendment will enshrine our rights to bear baseball bats?

No, that's the argument you're gonna make to your friends in the Blue Dog Coalition when you tell them you're changing your position.

Bill Sandford's thinking about backing a new candidate.

One of their own. A real up-and-comer. Hispanic.

Got offers from eight Ivy League schools.

Ivy League schools?

Have you seen my approval ratings, Pat?

No, he's not running against you.

He's running against your son.

The gun lobby wants your support, Hank.

They know your boy's running for Michigan.

They'll handpick an opponent.

Back him to the hilt.

I tried to talk Sandford out of it, but...

Bullshit, Connors, you probably put him up to it, you motherfucker.

About those approval ratings.

You can go either way.

Quietly recant, protect your son.

Sandford won't forget it.

You disappoint him...

He won't forget that, either.

So, how was Pittsburgh?

What are you, a Fed?

The President of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement called to say thanks for lunch.

I wasn't aware they were part of our plan.

It wasn't expensed.

It was a 30-minute lunch.

They're not a part of our plan, which is why it wasn't expensed.

Am I not allowed a social life?

I didn't know you had one.

As someone who has her underlings root for conversational topics.

I maintain a small circle of allies.

Uh-huh. Cops and nurses?

Well, I can provide a list if you require full disclosure.

So, grand unveiling.

You coming? We got a bigger problem.

While you've been jetting around the country for lunch, our opponents have been doing their job.

Hank Badgley, Chairman of the Blue Dog, who controls the votes of...

Six Senators, I know who he is. He's in our pocket.

Really? That what you think?

He was on board, but he just did a 180.

Says he wants to wait and see.

"Wait and see" is more like a 90.

We're chasing Senators who are in play.

We can't afford to lose seven votes we had locked.

We won't recover.

We have him on camera pledging support?

Absolutely.

Then we'll have to make him feel it.

Thank you.

Alex, these banners are good.

Could you say that again and sound a little less surprised?

Hold on, this can't be right.

Senator Gomez... We're not going to Florida.

What?

Florida's out.

But you said that we were going to Florida to swing Gomez...

Everyone turn to Tab 9, please.

I don't have anything at Tab 9.

Security, lock down Cynthia Green's desk.

Secure her files and her hard drives, and escort her off the premises.

Your Blackberry, now.

Now!

Let's go.

He offered me partnership track.

Good luck with that.

Clear the office.

Come on, come on, come on! Everybody out.

I'll have the place swept for taps.

Sounds like James Bond shit to me.

We will talk about this later.

Come on, everybody, clear the building!

Let's go! Out! Come on!

I can't believe the whole Gomez-Florida thing was a ruse.

We're coming out of left field to take Colorado before they figure out which hole they got screwed in.

How could she do that?

How does someone even think like that?

Maybe in her naivety, she figured it'd be good for her career.

I wasn't talking about Cynthia.

Morning.

Please take a seat.

We're not saying it can't be done.

But it's risky.

We only get one shot. Hey!

Were you followed?

Evidently.

Let him in.

Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, upon pains and penalties of perjury?

I do.

State your full name, please.

Well, look at this.

Rodolfo Vittorio Schmidt.

I'm guessing this gear ain't for tuning my '69 Chevy?

Rodolfo, my unofficial support team.

Big Sam.

Little Sam.

During the time that you worked alongside Miss Sloane, did you hold any discussions pertaining to the use of illegal surveillance techniques?

So, how big is your organization?

Well, there are six of us, four are out on assignment.

And you're ex... NSA.

Badgley is flip-flopping.

But, quickest way to get him in line is to mine for sordid details, and then let him know we're in possession of them.

Mr. Schmidt, did you?

Yes, Senator, we did.

And what means did they have at their disposal to carry out these surveillance practices?

Standard 24-hour video and audio surveillance, cell phone and online account hacking, location tracking, and, with our latest tech, close-quarters audio, anytime, anyplace.

You ever hear the expression "Fly on the wall"?

Well, meet the cutting edge in eavesdropping.

It's a cockroach.

Which can be retro-fitted as a cybernetic robo-roach with this.

We glue electrodes to its antennae, perforate the thorax, and we can control its movement remotely.

Don't call PETA, Schmidt.

These guys can crawl under doors, into crevices, bags, completely undetected.

They can go weeks without food and still be mobile.

And how did you react to the possibility of all this?

I told her it was mind-boggling, ingenious, morally repugnant and completely unacceptable.

Boo!

You're talking about blackmailing a United States Senator.

Have you any idea of the damage if this ever came out?

No more than the damage done if we don't get Badgley back.

Without prejudice to the undoubtedly stellar job that you guys do.

Our firm has certain standards below which I'm not prepared to stoop.

Let me out of here.

Schmidt.

Find another way.

It was a rude awakening for Michigan Senator, Hank Badgley, today as he was tailed from his home to his workplace by this...

What the fuck is that?

...organized by gun safety campaigners in response to what they perceive as a U-turn on his support...

Can you believe... I do not fucking believe!

...in the shadow of a giant rat.

It's on all of the national news outlets.

How the hell did she manage that?

She didn't. They swing left all on their own.

It has its own Twitter feed.

Huh?

The rat.

Really, I think that this whole rat business is little more than an unfortunate misunderstanding.

I was one of the first members of the senate to lend my support to Heaton-Harris.

I've always maintained that the Bill is integral to public safety, and my support for it is unwavering.

Now, I sincerely hope that we can get past all this silliness...

Th ree more Blue Dog Senators have press conferences scheduled for next week.

Keep hammering the point that we're not arguing for confiscation.

Heaton-Harris is about stopping...

Criminals and psychopaths.

Yeah, I'm a pro at this now, Liz.

I'll see you in there.

So you knew there was a leak from when?

Sorry? Cynthia.

When did you start to suspect there was a leak?

Uh, after the UAPD fundraiser.

And you had her followed by a PI?

How did you know it was her?

Sorry?

The leak, you had Cynthia watched.

How did you know it was her?

I didn't.

You had us all watched?

Howdy.

Cal Sneider, banking and actuarial.

I'm sure we've been introduced, but your name escapes me.

I'm sorry, you have the wrong person.

I'm pretty sure I don't.

Have a good memory for faces.

This one I wouldn't readily forget.

Really, Mr. Sneider, I've no idea who you think I am.

Excuse me.

Uh-huh. You know we're not really supposed to be having this conversation, right?

Half of Oregon is protected Federal parkland.

They can't develop it.

So, state budgets come from logging revenues.

I got it... Liz?

Whatever clearing your head looks like, this isn't it.

So, loggers are a very influential group.

Excuse me!

Can someone have her makeup done, too, please?

I'm not a part of this!

You're a public figure in a room full of cameras.

Is that her?

Liz?

Hey, we have to get Bryan on these loggers.

We're on top of the goddamn loggers!

Just clear your head!

One moment.

Clear your head, like I told you.

Hello?

Fine. Ms. Sloane, welcome.

Pat. Please, take a seat.

I know Friday's Filing Day and your campaign will be over, but if you're thinking I'm gonna go easy, I can't do that.

This is live TV, so no colorful language.

Bullshit job offers to my staff, you've plumbed new depths.

A giant inflatable rodent? Please.

You ruined that girl's career.

All right, shut up, the both of you. Let's go!

Hello, America, I'm Jon O'Neill, welcome to a special edition ofThis Week In Washington.

Guns! More or Less?

There were 372 mass shootings last year, 64 school shootings, and there are over 300 million guns in our country...

You used to work with Connors?

Four years.

Foul-mouthed, unexpected, and very effective.

If background checks are to be of any use, they should apply to all gun sales, not just some.

Isn't that what Heaton-Harris is proposing?

Precisely. The bill expands the scope of gun regulation, and it's yet another affront to Americans' Constitutional rights.

No, the bill closes an absurd loophole which allows people on terrorist watch-lists to buy guns without any checks whatsoever.

It's an incursion into individual liberty by an all-powerful government...

What, like drivers' licenses? Drivers' licenses?

It's illegal to operate a car without going through rigorous theoretical and practical assessments.

That's a clear constraint... Fugu chefs.

...on the freedom of individuals to drive cars, or pilots to fly planes. Come on. Fugu chefs.

You know, in Japan, chefs train for seven years before they're allowed to serve a poisonous blowfish called fugu.

Yes!

What does any of this have to do with background checks?

Is a fair question.

Does anyone in this room think the government should abolish drivers' licenses?

That's absurd. Why?

They're a government incursion into individual liberty.

We accept them because they make sense.

The more dangerous the machinery, the more rigorous the tests should be.

I think we can extend our definition of dangerous machinery to semi-automatic firearms.

Except that the Second Amendment to the Constitution doesn't guarantee the right to drive cars, or operate machinery or serve blowfish for that matter.

It guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.

Perhaps you haven't read it lately.

Nothing in the bill infringes the rights of the people to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment was signed in a time where the average life expectancy was 38, and it was common practice for our Founding Fathers to resolve their differences at dawn in a gunfight.

What may have been perfectly sensible in those alien times is wholly inadequate to solve the problems of the present.

That's not the rebuttal, what's she doing?

The United States Constitution has stood the test of time.

It's authored to confer unimpeachable rights, which don't change depending on which way the wind's blowing.

It's so authored with the specific intent of keeping at bay the Elizabeth Sloanes of this world, who wanna wipe their asses with the Constitution...

Okay, let's...

...and replace it with their own judgment, because she knows better than the Founding Fathers of this great nation.

Nothing is unimpeachable, not even the Constitution.

It's ironic that the very statement of rights you're so quick to invoke is in fact an Amendment.

I may not like it either, Elizabeth, but it's the Second Amendment.

Comes right after freedom of speech, religion, and press, and somewhere before freedom from search and from having to testify against yourself.

They're all sort of bunched together.

It's called the Bill of Rights.

How do you get around that? We don't need to.

Supreme Court already made it clear that the right to own a gun is subject to lawful restriction.

One of those is background checks.

Universal background checks are an infringement.

What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you get?

I get that that's the weakest, most mind-numbing retort in your impoverished arsenal.

Sort of a last refuge for those with no real argument at all.

You're talking about the United States Constitution.

If they could produce a rational winning argument, I'd gladly migrate to their side, but "because it says so in the Constitution, "the Bible, or my horoscope," it's not a winning argument!

It's a ripcord.

An intellectual equivalent of a yellow, pant-pissing wimp cowering behind mommy's skirt.

Why don't we bring this back. No, no, no. Let's not!

Why don't we ask all the mothers out there who lost their children to an armed sociopath, if they believe in his unimpeachable Constitutional right to bear arms?

Why not ask the terrified girl who locked herself in a janitor's closet at Bloomington High, forced to listen as her peers were being massacred?

Go ahead, ask her!

Her name is Esme Manucharian.

She's standing right there!

Jesus Christ, Liz.

Okay, time out!

We're going to take a break, and when we come back, maybe these two will stop playing Patty Cake and the gloves'll really come off.

Be right back!


I won't insult your intelligence by claiming that came out in the heat of the moment.

How far back?

Once I started getting used to all the media?

Okay. Day one.

Wow.

At dinner that night...

You asked me if I'd go public if it was the difference between victory and defeat.

What if I'd said no?

Would you still have done it?

Probably.

I was hired to win, and I have a responsibility to use whatever resource I have.

The press we're going to get from this, it's practically a dereliction of duty not to use it.

That's it? I'm a "resource"?

Professionally, yes.

I understand you have feelings, and a life, but I have no duty to them.

I have a duty to the cause, and if the two conflict, there will only ever be one winner.

Well, hooray for straight talk.

Okay.

Get ready, Esme. Network wants a statement.

Re-apply your makeup. We'll walk out arm-in-arm.

We'll be brief. No questions.

Tonight, we'll leave them wanting more.

First of all, I want to make it clear that I have dedicated my life to gun safety issues because the current system is broken.

That's a rational judgment.

Not an emotional one.

I am a survivor of the Bloomington High School massacre of 1998.

For years, I sought to hide the pain and the trauma, for fear of having to relive it.

But I've come to realize that the thousands of people affected by gun violence need to stand up and be counted.

They need a representative who can speak out for what they have endured.

Let's call Sandford.

Someone who can relate their experience...

There might be life in this yet.

...to the public at large.


You're a piece of work, Elizabeth.

If you want to set yourself on fire to service your need to win, I won't protest, but Esme?

The end is my concern.

You liberal goody-goodies can fret over the means.

You need me. The end?

It disappeared over the Hill when you cocked your leg and pissed all over the flag!

Comparing the United States Constitution to a horoscope?

That's the kind of shit the gun lobby thrives on.

Or have you realized by now we're going to lose anyway?

This is more important than my career, or Esme's unease at fighting reporters every time she has to take out the trash.

You're out of control. We're not gonna lose.

What if I told you

this whole strategy was a shell game?

For the benefit of the Cynthia Greens of this firm.

What are you talking about?

Bill Sandford was right.

Women are the gun lobby's blind spot.

A massive power base that they don't speak to and they can't control.

And?

Those strange excursions on my itinerary?

Women's representative bodies, feminist groups, female CEOs.

I've talked as many as I could into brow-beating their membership to donate to my PAC.

You have a PAC?

Bill Sandford's getting a nasty surprise come filing day.

How nasty are we talking?

Fifteen million from over three million donors-nasty.

In one quarter?

Actually, less.

Unbelievable.

Why are you telling me this now?

You kept this from me all along, and you're telling me tonight?

Oh, my God, I tell you we're back in the game, and all you can say is that?

You knew you were gonna screw Esme tonight, so you kept this from me to blindside me before I had a chance to fire you.

You have unusual insight for a "boutique" lobbyist.

You've been pulling all the strings, all along.

Lobbying is about foresight.

You anticipate your opponent's moves, you devise...

I am not your fucking opponent!

Were you ever normal?

As a child?

Or were the twisted thought processes in your mind hard-wired in the womb?

Because I'm having a really hard time understanding how somebody gets to this.

Guess I'm just a piece of work.

I'll see you tomorrow.


You're Madeline Elizabeth Sloane.

You work in government affairs at a communications company.

Well googled.

So what was that? At the fundraiser?

You pretended like we're strangers.

What did you expect?

You all right?

Mmm...

The only person to call me Madeline was my mother.

Government affairs and communications are just fancy words for lobbying.

And lobbying's a fancy word for what, exactly?

Outside this room, we're strangers.

Those were the rules of this engagement.

We were alone...

In a public place.

I can't be associated with you there.

At least one other person knew who you were.

Who was she, anyway?

I never reveal my clients. Ever.

You just, uh, pry into their personal lives, google for the truth.

Yeah, I hear you lobbyists ain't so good with the truth.

Says the guy with four identities, who sleeps with strangers for money?

I'm just surprised by what a natural bullshitter you are.

I grew up lying, Forde.

Didn't want to. I had to.

That's why I excel at it.

It's a skill I would've happily traded for a normal life.

Normal's overrated.


I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

But I can't.

What's wrong?

I'm sorry. Forget about tonight.

Why? I do somethin'?

No, it's, um...

I'm not in the right frame of mind.

Here.

Easiest money you ever made. I didn't do anything.

Well, you showed up, I wasted your time, so, yeah.

You know, we could just sit and talk, and...

Take the fucking money, Forde!

Get out, please.

Suit yourself.

Neumark.

Milner. Two hands here, come on.

Carlson... Wade Powell, Virginia.

Hackman's come over too.

We've lost Milner, Neumark, Carlson, Hackman.

Adamou's chief of staff said he's softening his position.

Alex? I'll soften his fuckin'...

Bill Sandford's on line 3.

Closing Adamou right the fuck now.

She takes my own idea and goes up against us with it.

We did try to warn you, Bill.

Fifteen million. From three million donors.

In less than a quarter.

You stop her, you stop Heaton-Harris.

We have to make it personal now.

She becomes the story.

We can use our media relationships, Bill, put her on the defensive.

I don't just want her on the defensive.

I don't just want her off the campaign.

I want her to be the reason that people think twice before taking on the guardians of the Second Amendment.

I want her career.

Hey, Alex, it's me. I just landed.

Philadelphia was as good as what we could have hoped for.

So how are we doing? That's four to go, people.

You're kidding me.

Wow, that's amazing.

All right.

We're joined now by Esme Manucharian.

Esme, thanks for joining us.

Would you say that the gun debate is now largely become a women's issue?

You need only look at the numbers to see that gun safety has become a deciding issue for American women.

If their representative isn't listening, they'll go to the polls and elect someone who will.

What do you want?

I got 15 million to blow.

Lauren was going through your letters.

Between the death threats and the hate mail, she found this.

Pru Walsh of The Sentinel is doing a feature on the lobbying industry.

That means you.

Well, if she wants to meet me, why did she send a letter?

Because she doesn't really want to meet you.

She wants to say she reached out to you for an interview, but didn't hear back.

It's a takedown.

Well, the least we can do is disappoint her.

Set it up.

I've canceled your 10:00 a.m.

You're gonna see our in-house attorney.

I don't believe you two have met.

You know how I feel about this.

I was against you ever hiring her.

Because your job is not winning lobbying fights, your job is to stop us from getting...

Quite independently of her being utterly contemptible.

What the hell were you thinking?

You know, whatever it was, I guess it seems pretty stupid now.

Liz, meet your protection.

Daniel Posner, Head of Legal.

Liz Sloane, contemptible liability.

And amateur lip-reader.

Whose idea were the glass walls? Seriously?

Two TV slots tomorrow, then a radio thing, and finally I'm done in Illinois.

Where are you?

Gold Stone, waiting for them to hurry up and invent the food pill.

That may take a while.

And plotting to ensnare our last four senators.

Fifty-six down, four to go. We're actually doing... Oh!

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. My fault.

Thanks. Thank you. Here you go.

Okay.

Sorry about that.

Remember that first day when I asked how do we win, and you said "Realistically, we don't"?

I stand by every word of that.

Excuse me?

So you're going to downplay the 15 million?

Yeah, 'cause we can't sound like we're bragging about how much we're pulling in.

Senators link donations to voting intention, we can't say anything that might stop...

You wanna take this, bitch?

Huh?

Esme, you're still there?

Come on.

Take it.

Esme? What the hell was that?

You been here before, right?

Esme?

Look at me!

Esme?

Except I'm gonna do it right this time.


I'm standing at the scene of last night's shooting.

We understand that the assailant was targeting a leading figure in the gun control movement, and was then shot dead by a civilian carrying a registered, concealed firearm.

The name of the vigilante has yet to be revealed...

George?

You're watching the news?

Yeah, whole bunch of Christmases just came early for Bill Sandford.

I'm headed to the airport. Get ready to spend some money.

Police have confirmed his identity as Frank McGill.

McGill was a legal owner of a registered weapon.

Heaton-Harris wouldn't have touched him.

But it might have made it harder for the other son of a bitch.

What do we know about him? Where'd he get his piece?

Did he have an arsenal stashed in his basement...

For the Second Amendment, which guaranteed her right to be protected from a sick individual.

And most of all, for Frank McGill.

Model citizen, vigilant, responsible, and his aim is true.


How are you doing?

You heading home?

You make a round-trip from D.C. to pin me in a departure lounge?

So you can check me off your list?

I betrayed your confidence. I set you down this path.

"Don't worry, Liz, it's not your fault."

Is that what you wanna hear?

"How could you possibly have known?"

You're not gonna get it.

He wanted to kill me.

I didn't know where the line was, Esme.

I never, never know where the line is.

Obviously, take all the time you want.

And when you're ready, we'd love to have you back on the campaign.

Your own terms.

No media, you can work behind the scenes.

If you don't want to work with me,

I'll resign from the campaign.

If that's what you want.

Is that your move to get me back at my desk?

You want me in front of a camera to counter Frank McGill?

It even crossed my mind that this was all you.

You just didn't account for an armed civilian right behind me.

Esme...

I'll keep fighting, Elizabeth.

Wherever I can make a difference.

But as far as possible away from you.

You crossed the line when you stopped treating people with respect.

You're smart enough to know that.

You just don't care.

Thank you, thank you. Welcome back.

Our next guest this morning is the kind of guy you'd want to have around when you're walking home from work one night and some dude sticks a gun in your face.

After his military career, McGill worked as a commercial pilot...

Let's face it, folks, the streets ain 't safe.

And if it wasn't for the courage, bravery, and damn fine aim of our next guest, we'd be reflecting on yet another tragedy.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the man of the moment, Frank McGill.

So, Frank McGill, all-American hero.

Not at all. An ordinary guy in the right place at the right time.

With a 9 milli. under his belt.

I'm curious. The person whose life you saved once campaigned for a ban on concealed carry.

How do you feel about that?

I respectfully disagree with those views.

But the young lady is entitled to her opinion and nobody should be attacking her for that, much less holding her at gunpoint.

McGill's a gift from God.

But it won't last forever.

We're looking to parlay that into a closer examination of Sloane.

I'm thinking of a Congressional hearing into her unorthodox lobbying practices.

I'm sure we can find a senator who may be open to the idea.

You want to talk trash about her in the press, that's one thing.

A Congressional hearing requires a convincing allegation of impropriety.

I'd give my left nut to drag her rep through the dirt, but you're not gonna get it.

She's a CYA specialist.

I've never met anyone so pedantic...

Start an inquisition.

Let's see how well-covered her ass really is.

Hi.

Pru Walsh. Thanks so much for coming over.

This is Mike Gordon from our legal department.

Daniel Posner from ours.

Miss Sloane, you're at the forefront of an industry with a terrible reputation.

Do you think that's deserved?

The only reason this bill wasn't passed decades ago is because of the power of special interests.

When a lobbyist raises finance...

We haven't heard from Esme Manucharian since the attack. Are you in contact with her?

That's a private matter.

I think what's important to remember...

So have you talked to her at all?

What is important to remember here is that Frank McGill is exactly the kind of law-abiding, responsible gun owner whose rights the Heaton-Harris Bill protects.

Do you feel any guilt about what happened?

Why would I feel guilt?

You made Esme the face of your campaign.

You thrust her into the limelight that night on the debate.

I'm not talking about this. You don't have to.

Did she know that you were going to out her on national TV? Did she agree to that?

Why not report that the majority of gun owners favor more extensive background checks?

She probably went her entire career trying to keep that a carefully guarded secret.

That the gun lobby's fear-mongering rhetoric is trying to paint Heaton-Harris into something it's not.

Do you think that your little revelation is what made her a target?

It's clear Miss Sloane doesn't wish to discuss Ms. Manucharian.

What's really clear is that your article's already written.

Don't respond to that.

That's purely speculative on your part.

Who's controlling you? Let's not do this.

Look, the fact is, you have no way of knowing what Ms. Walsh intends to do...

The fact is that you have no interest in what Miss Sloane has to say.

And how would you know that? Your Dictaphone's off.

Takedown.

It could've been worse.

I've got four factual errors so far.

This is not good, Liz.

Dump it in the recycling.

They'll make pencils out of it.

Maybe one will find its way into the hands of a reporter with some integrity.

It will go away.

Okay, thank you.

Bye.

Funny how all these senators are suddenly very busy.

We all know why that is.

Okay, so it's not great.

The 15 million helped us get this far, but it doesn't last long when you're fighting the richest group on the Hill.

Let's get to the point.

How does it shake out when it comes to the vote?

We'd run them close. But by latest projections, we'll be between four to seven votes short.

There's nothing more we can do tonight.

Liz, we don't have to leave.

The West Coast is still awake.

We can connect with Oregon.

If we close those goddamn loggers, we could get it to five votes tonight.

Go home and get some rest, guys.

You've done enough for today.

I'll take to the streets and rip down those fucking Frank McGill posters one at a time if I have to.

Go home, sharpen your knives.

It'll still be on tomorrow.


So we keep on fighting.

That's all we can do.

As my ex-wife used to say.

I met you running from a fundraiser.

You could be done with all this.

Why don't you quit?

And do what?

Good night.


Hello?

I'm surprised you picked up.

I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.


She'd ply Congressmen with benefits, free meals, tickets to events, golfing weekends.

All paid for by our clients, via the firm.

Well, that right there's enough.

She'd make a point of invoicing them, though they were never expected to pay.

The debt shows as an asset on our balance sheet.

We can call it in any time we want.

You were her right hand for two years.

There's got to be something.

Why's nobody on her files?

There were a ton of us, but the others got pulled out.

It's not like we're in danger of finding anything.

Well, how far d'you get?

We worked backwards from her last deal before she jumped ship.

They said it'd be better if we can nail her on something recent.

Which was? Shmallow Cakes.

Some tax thing.

She left halfway through.

I thought it was the palm oil thing.

Palm oil?

Nutella Tax.

Hold on.

The Indonesians?

I don't remember seeing that.

What are you looking for?

Mr. Dupont, she's in breach of Senate Ethics rules.

We can prove it.

Things not looking so good for you this cycle, Ron.

You ask me, you're gonna need a lot more paid media.

I didn't ask you.

Now, who might just be able to fund those coveted TV spots?

I'm committed to Heaton-Harris, I can't vote for it with one hand and choke it with the other.

Under cover of impartiality, sure you can.

You've been a vocal critic of lobbyists in the past.

You'll lead an inquiry into Sloane's affairs in response to growing media pressure regarding her litany of misdeeds.

The cost of hearings is paid from the public purse.

Ron, our clients have identified you as the man to pull this off.

If you decline, I can't stop them from blitzing you with negative finance.

They won't stop until they annihilate you.

You know the root of the word "annihilate"?

It's Latin.

It means, "reduce to nothing."

That's what they're going to do to you, Ron.

So, what? I'll be taking a wedge from Bill Sandford and leading the attack on Heaton-Harris' most visible advocate?

A 6th grader could connect the dots.

We can create a structure to obfuscate the source.

Your big wedge will arrive courtesy of eight to 12 smaller entities with no affiliation to guns.

How big a wedge we talking?

Big enough to be the difference between the continuation of your duties as a United States Senator and the reduction of your career to nothing.

This is every hit since the original Pru Walsh hack-job two weeks ago.

My personal favorite is the one about how you toppled the head of the High School Student Council with a fabricated plagiarism scandal.

I'm assuming that's not libelous

'cause I can totally see it.

That witch was insufferable.

I'm taking you off the campaign.

What?

Not you, her.

I'll be outside.

What are you talking about?

Heaton-Harris gets colder every day you're associated with it.

Sperling's got the hots for you.

I haven't even met him, this is a setup.

If they're orchestrating it, it's because they want me off the campaign.

Right now, you're lawyering up for a hearing.

Regarding your representation of the Indonesian government.

Dan, are you busy?

Senator Allen Jacobs, the sponsor of the bill you dubbed the Nutella Tax,

was flown to Indonesia first-class with his family, and put up at a 5-star hotel.

Our audit puts the cost of this trip at over $30,000.

Shortly after his return, the bill was pulled from consideration.

Now, why do you suppose this happened?

I understand the trip was for educational purposes.

I can surmise that he learned how his bill would have strangled a key industry, and confined thousands of impoverished farmers to destitution.

From his private beach?

No. The truth is, your client funded this trip as an inducement for the senator to withdraw his bill.

Isn't that right? Not at all.

My client was the Indonesian Government.

The trip was sponsored by the Institute of Environmental Studies, a 501 C-3 non-profit organization.

Travel was pre-approved by the Senate Ethics Committee.

Has your client ever donated to this non-profit?

I wouldn't know that.

I'm not privy to their list of donors.

Nor had I any role in arranging funding for this.

No role? Mmm.

Of course, you couldn't have any role because the Senate Ethics rules prevent lobbyists from arranging overseas travel for members of Congress.

Indeed.

Do you know what this is?

Perhaps we can get you a copy.

Are you familiar with that form?

Yes. It's a Private Sponsor Certification Form.

It's a copy of the same Private Sponsor Certification Form that was submitted to the Senate Ethics Committee to pre-authorize Senator Jacobs' travel to Indonesia.

Look at the handwriting on that form, Miss Sloane.

Do you recognize that handwriting?

Yes, I do.

Is it your handwriting?

It is.

Well, it seems we have a problem.

Even though the form was signed and filed by the non-profit, you were the one who filled it out.

This is prima facie evidence that you were involved in arranging overseas travel for a member of Congress.

Constituting a clear breach of Senate Ethics rules.

Is that your trump card?

You drag me in here, wedge an endoscope up my posterior, and all this time, the only incriminating item you have in your possession is a filing snafu?

How about surveillance, Miss Sloane?

Mr. Rodolfo Schmidt has stated in deposition that you intended to use methods such as bugging and tapping to entrap Senator Hank Badgley. Is this true?

I did, for a brief moment, intend to use such methods.

But that intention was never acted upon.

And why was that?

Mr. Schmidt expressly forbade it, as he no doubt told you in his deposition.

But you were clearly comfortable with these methods.

Did you employ the tactics of espionage regularly throughout your lobbying career?

No, I did not.

Then let me ask you this.

Have you ever authorized, ordered, or otherwise brought about any kind of unlawful surveillance on any person?

Let me remind you that perjury before Congress is a felony, which...

The answer is no.

I have never authorized illegal surveillance.

This concludes my questioning of the witness.

Thank you, Miss Sloane.

We have one further witness.

Either you just perjured yourself, or you're not so sleazy after all.

The Committee calls Mr. Robert Forde.

I wouldn't count on that.

Mr. Chairman, I don't recall being notified of your intention to...

We were only recently able to locate the witness, Mr. Posner.

Let it play.

A moment with my client, please?

What is this? Who's Robert Forde?

Look, I can make a public appeal...

Let it play, damn it.

They're going to get it out there one way or another.

Mr. Forde, please raise your right hand.

Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under pains and penalties of perjury?

I swear. Please sit.

Mr. Forde, could you please describe the nature of your work?

I got many jobs.

What would you say earns you the most income at present?

I work as an escort in D.C.

You sleep with women for money?

I meet the clients' needs.

Whatever they may be.

Sometimes, the client don't even know what they need.

Part of my job's to figure that out.

But, sometimes, your job entails having intercourse for payment?

Yes, sir.

Have you ever met Elizabeth Sloane?

Mr. Chairman, the Senate has no business prying into the personal affairs of Miss Sloane.

Solicitation is a criminal offense.

It's well within the remit of this hearing to establish whether Miss Sloane has broken any laws.

Mr. Forde.

Have you ever met Miss Sloane?

Yep.

Could you identify her, please?

Sittin' right there.

What was the nature of your relationship?

I was attendin' a function with a client.

I tried to introduce myself, but she bucked me off.

Mr. Forde, have you ever entertained Miss Sloane as a client?

No, sir.

I can produce sworn statements from two employees of the Carver Hotel, to the effect that they saw Miss Sloane in the lobby on the same day that you, Mr. Forde, held a reservation there.

I ask again.

Did you entertain Miss Sloane in any capacity, for profit?

No, sir. I did not.

Thank you, Mr. Forde.

You're dismissed.

These proceedings will conclude tomorrow, when Miss Sloane is referred to the Senate Ethics Committee for their judgment.

I can't believe those fuckers dragged that guy...

Ross?

How's our old friend Heaton-Harris?

Comatose. The whole issue's gone cold.

That is what they wanted.

We all know what it would take to revive it.

Seriously, an earthquake.

We got closer than we had any right to.

We'll all be there tomorrow.


Excuse me, Miss Sloane, over here.

May I have a comment?

Good morning.

Before referring the witness's testimony to the Office of Congressional Ethics, she is entitled to make a statement.

Miss Sloane, is there something you'd like to say?

Mr. Chairman, my client does not wish to make a statement.

Very well.

I will now read the referral to the office of Congressional Ethics...

There is something I'd like to say, Senator.


I have been censured by the press and by this hearing as a parasite on American democracy.

It's insinuated that I led the fight for increased gun regulation in the interest of my career.

Sometimes we act, not for ourselves,

but because we believe plainly and simply it is the right thing to do.

Miss Sloane, is this pertinent to the discussions we...

I understand I have the right to say what I wish, Senator.

Proceed.

I believe the Heaton-Harris Bill is the right thing to do.

But I also recognize that this wasn't what motivated me.

When I was offered a position on the campaign, I was in thrall to the challenge.

My decision to accept was based on my desire to win.

And to win bigger than I ever had before.

It's clear that my behavior has fallen well short of acceptable ethical standards.

I've crossed lines with devastating consequences in the service of my obsession.

I've betrayed the people closest to me.

I've endangered lives.

I deserve censure for this far more than for any filing irregularity.

When they consider the Heaton-Harris Bill, I wish that each member of Congress would follow the example set, not by me, but by the group of people that sit behind me.

Who have made great sacrifices in the name of doing what they believe is right.

I wish that those members would use their votes, not in the interest of their political advancement, but for what they believe is right for their country.

But I know my wishes are wasted.

And that this will never happen.

Because our system is rotten.

It doesn't reward honest politicians, who vote with their conscience.

It rewards rats who are willing to sell out their country to keep their noses in the trough.

Make no mistake.

These rats are the real parasites on American democracy.

I anticipated if we had sufficient success in lobbying for the Heaton-Harris Bill, there may be an assault against me personally, to stall our momentum and to damage our credibility.

Lobbying is about foresight.

About anticipating your opponent's moves

and devising counter-measures.

I'd like to discuss my future.

This is hardly the time, cookie.

The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition, and plays a trump card just after they play theirs.

Actually, it is the time.

It's about making sure you surprise them.

The fuck is this?

And that they don't surprise you.

My resignation.

Academia's more my scene.

When I left Cole, Kravitz, and Waterman, I retained an operative of mine in their ranks.

All right, Jane.

Contact Rodolfo Schmidt and tell him there is a total of six coming over.

Who says I'm coming?

A plan was hatched to bankroll a trumped-up hearing at the behest of the gun lobby.

There's got to be something.

I'm surprised you picked up.

I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.

She's in breach of Senate Ethics rules.

We can prove it.

I placed George Dupont under surveillance until he met with a member of Congress who exhibited sufficient moral bankruptcy to collude with such a plan.

And go.

That member was Senator Ronald Michael Sperling.

Order.

This is not a platform you can use to make malicious, defamatory accusations...

Input the following address into your browser.

193-dot-184 dot-216-dot-449.

Download a file named "Earthquake."

I can't vote for it with one hand and choke it with the other...

Get the car.

In light of these allegations, this hearing is adjourned.

Back up, please. Back up. Back up.


I'm surprised you showed.

I hear I'm not the only one whose visits you've been refusing.

You look good.

Prison's not so bad if you don't have a penis.

We don't shank each other, we form self-help groups.

There's a black market in lip gloss.

Hmm.

Why this time?

They told me it was business.

Yeah. Um...

Now that the Sperling and Dupont hearings are on the schedule, I'm petitioning for an early release.

You look good, too, by the way.

Thank you.

I think we are looking at four, maybe six months.

You instigated the whole thing.

You weaponized yourself, brought the roof of the US Capitol crashing down on your head.

For what, a gun bill?

Worked, didn't it? Well, congrats.

Criminals must now endure the hassle of procuring their guns on the black market.

Was that really worth your career?

Career suicide is not so bad when you consider the alternative is suicide by career.

My doctor would tell you I've served my interest very well.

Hmm.

Thanks for coming, Daniel.

I'm curious.

Your little filing snafu?

You filled out that form deliberately.

That was you, throwing them a bone.

Without it, they would have nothing to incite the hearing.

And you're under no obligation to answer that.

And you neglected to mention this to any of your team because...

Five years minimum.

I'll be seeing you.