President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was paid more than $700,000 last year by businesses including struggling US banks bailed out by billions of dollars of taxpayers' money.
The revelations about Leon Panetta's finances highlight the difficulty the new administration faces in finding experienced advisers that do not violate the President's ban on hiring lobbyists.
It is also another embarrassment for President Obama after two Cabinet nominees, Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer, withdrew this week because of disclosures that they had failed to pay federal taxes.
The payments to Mr Panetta, a former California Congressman who was White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, were disclosed in documents filed before Mr Panetta's Senate confirmation hearing today.
Fleishman Hillard, a lobbying firm, paid Mr Panetta $130,000 in directors' fees but told The Wall Street Journal that the former lawmaker advised clients on policy and economic issues and did not do any lobbying.
Ah... Fleishman Hillard The very company that helped run the fraud ' David Davis For Freedom' re-election campaign.