When former Independent Connecticut U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman registered to lobby late last year for ZTE Corp., he made one thing clear: He was not “advocating” for the Chinese telecom giant but, rather, conducting an “independent assessment” of national security concerns that the company’s products could pose in the U.S.

Lieberman, now senior counsel at Kasowitz Benson Torres, told Politico he planned to register to lobby but wouldn’t actually lobby. Rather, his job would be “listening and asking questions,” he said, adding that he didn’t expect to be “giving ZTE’s point of view.”

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