Former Trump Campaign Adviser Charged with Acting as an Agent of UAE Government

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced on July 20 that several defendants—including Thomas Barrack, a former adviser to the 2016 Trump presidential campaign—were charged with engaging in a conspiracy to illegally advance and promote the interests of the United Arab Emirates in the U.S. while failing to notify the Attorney…

Foreign Agent Convictions of Former Michael Flynn Associate Reinstated

Michael Flynn associate Bijan Rafiekian, whose conviction under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) was overturned in September 2019, had his conviction reinstated by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 18, 2021. Rafiekian, who ran a consulting a consulting firm with Michael Flynn hired by the Turkish government…

Former Prosecutor Jennifer Gellie Reportedly Tapped as FARA Unit Head

Former federal prosecutor Jennifer Gellie has been named the new head of the Foreign Agents Registration (FARA) Unit within the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Ms. Gellie replaces Brandon Van Grack, who took over the role in 2019 and oversaw increased enforcement of FARA during his tenure….

NSD Deputy Assistant Attorney General Discusses Evolution of FARA Enforcement At Conference

On December 4, 2020, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division (“NSD”) of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Adam Hickey delivered remarks to the American Conference Institute’s 2nd National Forum on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”). Hickey addressed how DOJ’s enforcement of FARA has evolved and responded…

Businessman & RNC Fundraiser Elliott Broidy Pleads Guilty in FARA Case

Elliot Brody, a former Republican fundraiser, pleaded guilty on October 20 to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”). According to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Broidy conspired with others to push the U.S. government to “drop one of the largest fraud and money laundering prosecutions ever brought and to…

Foreign Influence Laws in Australia and Israel

Just as the United States uses the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) to try to shed light on foreign influence in American politics, Australia and Israel have laws that attempt to ensure similar transparency in their own governments. Like FARA, Australia’s Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (“FITS”) Act defines the “registrable…

DOJ Secures Guilty Plea From Hawaii Businesswoman For FARA Violation

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced on August 31, 2020, that a businesswoman who attempted to influence U.S. officials to drop civil forfeiture proceedings and a criminal investigation into the embezzlement of billions of dollars from a company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia pleaded guilty to a violation…

Department of Education Launches Online Portal for Reporting of Foreign Gifts to American Universities

In line with its increased focus on foreign funding for U.S. universities, the Department of Education (DOE) launched a new online portal to facilitate reporting of foreign gifts and contracts valued at more than $250,000. Such reporting is required by Section 117 of the Higher Education Act. According to DOE,…

New FARA Advisory Opinions Highlight DOJ’s Broad Interpretation of Registration Obligations

Several newly-released advisory opinions on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) demonstrate the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) exceedingly broad view of the statute’s scope.  These opinions signal that organizations working with foreign entities may not be able to claim exemptions previously thought to apply to their work.  This latest guidance…

DOJ Provides Guidance on “Scope of Agency” under FARA

In an attempt to clarify the scope of the concept of “agency” in context of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”), the Department of Justice’s FARA Unit posted guidance earlier this month. In May, the FARA Unit posted an explainer on the scope of “agency” under FARA, stating a commitment…