Kirsten Gillibrand, left, shares a moment with the woman she replaced in the Senate, Hillary Clinton.
Forgive that pun, but it is clear that Kirsten Gillibrand, junior senator from New York, played an important role in fending off the Justice Department as it sought internal research conducted by Philip Morris that proved a connection between cigarettes and cancer—a causation rebuked by tobacco executives in testimony before Congress in 1994.
The New York Times:
The Philip Morris Company did not like to talk about what went on inside its lab in Cologne, Germany, where researchers secretly conducted experiments exploring the effects of cigarette smoking.
So when the Justice Department tried to get its hands on that research in 1996 to prove that tobacco industry executives had lied about the dangers of smoking, the company moved to fend off the effort with the help of a highly regarded young lawyer named Kirsten Rutnik.
Ms. Rutnik, who now goes by her married name, Gillibrand, threw herself into the work. She traveled to Germany at least twice, interviewing the lab’s top scientists, whose research showed a connection between smoking and cancer but was kept far from public view.