A Department of Justice official confirmed yesterday that enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) is a “top priority” for the Department. The remark was made by Brandon Van Grack, the Chief of the Department’s FARA Registration Unit, during a speech at the recent National Forum on FARA, a conference co-chaired by Caplin & Drysdale’s Matthew Sanderson.
Mr, Van Grack noted that “almost every single FARA statistic has risen exponentially since 2016,” including the number of FARA registrations filed and the number of FARA Advisory Opinions issued. He also mentioned that the Justice Department has conducted inspections of 20 FARA registrants already this calendar year, which is a significant increase over prior years.
Mr. Van Grack’s statements are just the latest indication that the Department of Justice intends to engage in a sustained effort to enforce FARA moving forward.