- The closure of Avenue Strategies follows former President Donald Trump's loss to Joe Biden.
- Co-founder Barry Bennett, in emails to CNBC, did not say that Trump's defeat was the reason he was closing the firm. Instead, he pointed to recent violence in Washington as the motivation for moving on.
A lobbying shop co-founded by leaders of former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign is closing its doors following Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.
Avenue Strategies was co-founded by Barry Bennett nearly four years ago, after Trump's 2016 victory. Bennett, a senior advisor to Trump's first campaign, now says it's time to shut down after protests in front of his office building, which is a five-minute walk from the White House.
The closure comes on the heels of Trump's loss to Biden, making Avenue Strategies one of the first lobbying shops that had direct ties to Trump to do so. The firm dubbed itself as a "sherpa" for potential clients looking to gain access to the Trump White House and a new Washington under that administration.
In emails to CNBC, Bennett did not say that Trump's defeat was the reason he was closing down the firm. Instead, he pointed to recent violence in Washington as the motivation.
"Office is in the middle of BLM [Black Lives Matter] square and a block from the White House. Turbulent neighborhood," Bennett said Tuesday. He pointed to November violence that he said took place outside of Avenue Strategies' office. "Covid and the violence made continuing to keep the office open impossible."
"Will be announcing a nonpartisan link up soon. But the Avenue office is done," he said. "Joining new firm." He declined to provide further details and did not respond when asked whether Trump's loss is another reason he decided to close the firm.
The firm was co-founded by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, but he left Avenue Strategies in 2017.
Bennett's firm was loaded with lobbyists who had ties to Trump and the Republican Party, including others who worked on the 2016 campaign and leaders of Ben Carson's campaign for president. Carson was Trump's secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For Avenue Strategies, 2020 appears to have been its best year financially. Data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics shows it had at least five clients that paid nearly $1 million on a variety of issues, including the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, Bennett and his team lobbied the White House, Commerce Department, Treasury Department, State Department, Homeland Security and the National Security Council, among others, CRP data says.