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See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights. WASHINGTON—A congressional oversight committee said it would conduct a probe of a coronavirus-supply company founded by a former prominent Republican fundraiser. ‘‘But the process isn’t working this way. Maryland officials grew suspicious and canceled the order on May 1 and referred the matter to the state attorney general office for review. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. ‘‘Blue Flame Medical is devoted to getting masks and ventilators to the people in Maryland who so desperately need them,’’ he said. Mr. Pallone and fellow Democratic lawmakers plan to send a letter to Blue Flame officials requesting answers to questions about the company’s canceled contracts. His firm has raised campaign money for Senators Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, Steve Daines of Montana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and dozens of other influential Republicans. Mr. Pallone, the House committee chairman, said “given the shortages of critical supplies, state and local governments and hospitals must be assured they will receive equipment when they order it.”. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment Wednesday. He declined to comment about the Justice Department investigation. Asked what law enforcement officials are seeking, Ricci replied, ‘‘Federal investigators have asked us not to disclose that information.’’. The House Energy and Commerce Committee said it has launched an investigation into Blue Flame Medical LLC after several states canceled contracts with the company. Justice Department investigates Blue Flame Medical after claims it failed to provide masks to Maryland, California. A few hours later, the state canceled the contract. Both states ultimately canceled those contracts. The company previously has said it has done nothing wrong and would cooperate with any investigations. Around that time, the Justice Department launched a separate probe into the matter, according to a government official briefed on the situation. Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue. The matter was referred to Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, last week for review. Connect with friends faster than ever with the new Facebook app. This content is currently not available in your region. Thomas recently worked as a strategist and fund-raiser for Republican Don Sedgwick, who sought to run against California Democratic Representative Katie Porter, but lost in the March primary. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, A Muslim millennial was elected the country’s first out nonbinary lawmaker — in Oklahoma, British grocer Sainsbury's is cutting 3,500 jobs and closing more than 80% of Argos stores. The agreed-upon shipping date for the masks and ventilators was April 14, according to a Blue Flame invoice obtained by the Post. ‘‘My question was always, what is the process for vetting companies and determining who would be used?’’ Carter said, adding that it is clear that at least one of the companies selected could not perform. See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. Before entering the medical supply business, Gula was known in GOP circles for his political fund-raising skills. WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Blue Flame Medical, a company created by two well-connected Republican operatives who started selling COVID-19 supplies this spring as the virus spread across the country. He startled some longtime clients in March when he announced he was quitting the fund-raising world during an election year to start the medical supply business with Thomas. Blue Flame was founded in March by Republican fundraiser Mike Gula and a political consultant in California. Days after the company was started, Blue Flame signed a $600 million contract with California officials to supply masks. ‘‘As Blue Flame Medical LLC has failed to honor its delivery commitment under the terms and conditions, [the Department of General Services] is now formally requiring Blue Flame Medical to cure this deficiency.’’. When California tried to send the company a down payment for roughly $450 million, the state’s bank flagged the wire transfer as suspicious because Blue Flame bank’s account had been opened days earlier. Michael Ricci, a spokesman for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, confirmed Wednesday in an e-mail that the state government has received subpoenas from federal prosecutors seeking information about the canceled Blue Flame contract. I don’t want to stall the process,’’ she added. The company's filing status is listed as Active and its File Number is 7911342. California had separately hired the company to provide 100 million face masks, according to two people familiar with the transaction. It shouldn’t be up to the one agency. On Monday, state lawmakers in California discussed what went wrong with the Blue Flame contract during an oversight hearing on problems with buying medical supplies in an emergency. The company ‘‘fully intends to honor that contract’’ to supply 1.5 million masks and 110 ventilators by June 30, Bearman said. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. There should be a cross-section of folks, from the minority business community, the local business community, the medical community.’’, ‘‘I understand we need to act quickly. A letter sent to the firm on April 30 by Danny Mays, Maryland’s director of procurement, revealed deep frustration. Maryland officials signed a $12 million contract on April 1 and Blue Flame received a down payment of $6 million. Maryland canceled a deal with Blue Flame for 1.5 million masks and more than 100 ventilators after the company failed to deliver on time, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. Blue Flame Medical’s attorney Ethan Bearman said in a Tuesday statement that the company “is devoted to getting masks and ventilators” to Maryland. Some California lawmakers seek probe into coronavirus equipment supplier contracts, including the massive payment — and reversal — to Blue Flame Medical. A Blue Flame lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Bearman had no comment on the California contract, which drew the attention of the Justice Department when it was suddenly canceled. Blue Flame was started in late March by Michael Gula, a Republican fund-raising and lobbying consultant in Washington, and John Thomas, a California political consultant. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. We’re not getting the supplies.’’.


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