Sunday, November 07, 2010

DOJ Dusts Off Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)

"FARA requires any individual or entity who attempts to assist a foreign government, division of a foreign government, foreign political party, or foreign individual with influencing U.S. domestic or foreign policy to register with DOJ as an “agent of a foreign principal.” (Foreign corporations also are treated as foreign principals, but they generally may avoid registering under FARA by registering under the less onerous Lobbying Disclosure Act.) Examples of agents of foreign principals would be individuals who represent foreign governments in lobbying U.S. government officials, public relations consultants who run public advocacy campaigns for foreign governments, and political consultants who advise foreign governments on political strategy."---"Department of Justice launches a wave of Foreign Agents Registration Act ("FARA") Audits" (Covington and Burling, 10-20-10)

The Department of Justice can prosecute people for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The DOJ has reportedly launched a series of audits of registrants under the FARA act.

Maybe the DOJ will also investigate foreigners and their American enablers who don't register in the first place, because foreign entities can mask their political operations in our country by paying collaborating American companies for "professional services" that seem unrelated to political advocacy.

I think that FARA should be enforced against violators who give money to both Republican and Democratic politicians as well as to other organizations or "think tanks."

I would like to see the DOJ investigate if foreign entities are illegally funding propaganda and sponsoring legal actions in the United States against our greatest scientists who study global warming. The U.S. law that covers FARA is linked on the FARA homepage.

According to the FARA site:

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938. FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. The FARA Registration Unit of the Counterespionage Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act.

The law firm of Covington and Burling has issued a press release titled "Department of Justice launches a wave of Foreign Agents Registration Act ("FARA") Audits" (10-20-10).

Covington and Burling claims:

This year, for the first time in recent memory, the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) Unit appears to have launched a series of audits of FARA registrants. FARA authorizes DOJ to conduct sweeping audits of records maintained (and required to be maintained) by FARA registrants. In past years, such FARA audits have been quite rare. But, it appears that the FARA Unit has decided to step up its auditing activities generally.

In broad terms, FARA requires any individual or entity who attempts to assist a foreign government, division of a foreign government, foreign political party, or foreign individual with influencing U.S. domestic or foreign policy to register with DOJ as an “agent of a foreign principal.” (Foreign corporations also are treated as foreign principals, but they generally may avoid registering under FARA by registering under the less onerous Lobbying Disclosure Act.) Examples of agents of foreign principals would be individuals who represent foreign governments in lobbying U.S. government officials, public relations consultants who run public advocacy campaigns for foreign governments, and political consultants who advise foreign governments on political strategy.

Every six months following registration, a FARA registrant is required to file a report with DOJ detailing receipts from the foreign principal, disbursements made relating to activities for the foreign principal, specific contacts and other activities engaged in to further the foreign principal’s interests, and all political contributions made in the U.S. at any level of federal, state, or local government.

In addition, anytime an agent of a foreign principal distributes “informational materials,” it must file those materials with DOJ within 48 hours, and the materials must include a disclaimer reflecting that they were produced by a foreign agent. [See the full text.]

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home