The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) has announced that it has terminated its contract with Federal Advocates, a lobbying firm that came under fire in November after The Washington Post published a story pointing out the firm’s claims about its ties to the Trump Administration did not hold up to scrutiny.

Yesterday, FBI agents raided the Federal Advocates office and the home of its founder.

Scott Pearce, executive director of PCA, told halfwheel that the organization would make a statement following the early November news, it never did and stuck with the firm until today.

“The PCA continues to be active in its advocacy efforts in achieving smart regulatory relief for the premium cigar industry,” said John Anderson, PCA president, in a statement. “We have a lot of momentum going in the right direction from some great work we accomplished at the end of last year and we are optimistic we can accomplish some important goals moving forward.”

As of Sept. 30, PCA had spent $90,000 with Federal Advocates, an amount equal to the money it spent with Cozen O’Connor, a much more established firm.

Its statement made no reference to the FBI raid.


In a short period of time, Federal Advocates went from an unknown firm to one attracting seven-figure commitments from clients. It boasted of ties to President Donald Trump, his children, the Republican National Committee and others, but The Washington Post reported that those people described Esposito’s relationships as either false or grossly overstated.

Following the original story, Trump himself tweeted that he did not know Esposito.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.