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Covington’s Foreign Agents Registration Act practice is one of the oldest and most experienced in the country. Covington advises consulting firms, think tanks, trade associations, advocacy organizations, and individuals on FARA compliance and the complex statutory provisions that determine whether activities require registration. We have handled numerous Department of Justice inquiries, both for FARA registrants and unregistered organizations, including several high-profile inquiries that involved significant media attention and Department of Justice scrutiny.
We represent numerous consulting firms that are registered under the Act in ongoing compliance with the statute’s disclosure requirements and audits of disclosures by the Department of Justice.
One of the leading FARA cases is Attorney General v. Covington & Burling, which established that the attorney-client privilege survives a FARA registration.
We represented a consulting firm in an internal investigation and retroactive registration for activities undertaken by the firm for a foreign government – the largest public FARA investigation in recent years.
We represented a think tank in an internal review of its foreign government funding in the context of suggestions that its activities may have implications under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
We represented an ethnic affinity organization, closely associated with a foreign political party, in successfully addressing a Department of Justice inquiry concerning the organization’s activities.
August 25, 2016, Inside Political Law
The New York Times, earlier this month, reported that “secret ledgers” in Ukraine show $12.7 million in cash payments designated for former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from Ukraine’s pro-Russian political party. Days later, the Associated Press reported that Manafort helped the pro-Russian party “secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments ...
June 5, 2015, Inside Political Law
In a recent letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Department of Justice offered a rare public glimpse into the enforcement activities of the small unit in the Department that enforces the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Some of the details highlighted in the letter are consistent with observations that we have shared in this blog; … Continue Reading
December 22, 2014, Inside Political Law
Last week, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) released a report on the Foreign Agents Registration Act with an attention-grabbing title: “Loopholes, Filing Failures, and Lax Enforcement: How the Foreign Agents Registration Act Falls Short.” The tone of the title was echoed in several news reports, including in The Hill (“Foreign lobbying enforcement ...
September 8, 2014, Inside Political Law
This weekend, the New York Times ran a lengthy investigative report on foreign government donations to U.S. think tanks. The story alleged that the foreign governments bought influence and paid for advocacy by some of the nation’s most respected research institutions. The article outlined contributions from Norway, UAE, Qatar, Japan, and others to think tanks ...
July 18, 2014, Inside Political Law
Two public relations firms have filed documents with the Department of Justice revealing that they provided public relations and media services in the United States for the government of Ecuador without being registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), as that law requires. These firms are the latest in a long string of law … Continue ...
February 6, 2014, Inside Political Law
Covington & Burling LLP today released new data showing that the Department of Justice has maintained an increased level of Foreign Agents Registration Act audits,and settled into a consistent pattern of conducting 15 audits of FARA registrants each fiscal year. In each of the last four years, the Department of Justice’s FARA office has conducted 15 audits of ...
January 6, 2014, Inside Political Law
Thomas Edsall recently published an interesting op-ed in the New York Times about the changing nature of lobbying in Washington. Edsall, who spent twenty-five years covering politics for the Washington Post, writes about the decline of direct lobbying based on relationships with policymakers, and the corresponding rise of consultants who provide strategic ...
August 29, 2013, Inside Political Law
On August 8, 2013, we reported that federal prosecutors in Chicago unsealed a criminal complaint alleging that two men violated U.S. sanctions by lobbying on behalf of Zimbabwe. In the earlier post, we noted that the defendants’ alleged activities appeared to have also violated federal law related to unregistered foreign agents, and we speculated that … ...
August 8, 2013, Inside Political Law
On August 6, federal prosecutors in Chicago unsealed a criminal complaint against two men alleged to have worked on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe to generate political support in the United States to lift the U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe. The two men – Prince Asiel Ben Israel and C. Gregory … Continue Reading
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