June 17, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – June 17, 2019

New FARA Regulations, and changes being made to lobbying disclosures in various states. Catch up with all of it in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!

New FARA Regulations, and changes being made to lobbying disclosures in various states. Catch up with all of it in this edition of News You Can Use Video Digest!

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June 11, 2019 •

Bi-Partisan Bill to Amend FARA Introduced in U.S. Senate

On June 10, a bi-partisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). The bill would provide the U.S. Attorney General greater authority to promote enforcement of the law and increase […]

On June 10, a bi-partisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA).

The bill would provide the U.S. Attorney General greater authority to promote enforcement of the law and increase disclosure requirements of agents of foreign principals.

Senate Bill 1762 requires foreign agents to disclose their clients immediately so policy makers can evaluate their positions in light of those associations.

Additionally, the bill requires the Justice Department to craft a comprehensive FARA enforcement strategy, and creates oversight mechanisms to prevent abuse of the new authorities according to the press release of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican sponsor of the bill.

The legislation would also establish a review of the Lobbying Disclosure Act exemption to determine whether and to what extent it has been abused for purposes of concealing foreign influence.

Only 15 violations of FARA have been criminally prosecuted since 1966 and “about half of those stemmed from Mr. Mueller’s investigation,” according to Grassley’s statement in his press release.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Dianne Feinstein.

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June 8, 2018 •

FARA Advisory Opinions Now Available to Public

On June 8, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Registration Unit released several years’ worth of advisory opinions previously unavailable to the public. The advisory opinions, covering the period from January 1, 2010, to the present, […]

On June 8, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Registration Unit released several years’ worth of advisory opinions previously unavailable to the public.

The advisory opinions, covering the period from January 1, 2010, to the present, had been previously issued to individuals and lobbyists concerning registration and other issues falling under FARA. 49 advisory opinions concerning FARA have been issued by the DOJ since January 1, 2010.

Also included with the release of the advisory opinions are three additional letters sent in response to requests for general information.

Future advisory opinions will be made publicly available and posted on the DOJ’s website periodically.

The advisory opinions can be found here.

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March 27, 2018 •

Foreign Influence Transparency Act Introduced in Senate

On March 21, Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton and Rep. Joe Wilson introduced a bill to limit exemptions for registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Senate Bill 2583, the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, amends FARA to limit […]

On March 21, Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton and Rep. Joe Wilson introduced a bill to limit exemptions for registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Senate Bill 2583, the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, amends FARA to limit the exemption from the registration requirements for persons engaging in activities in furtherance of bona fide religious, scholastic, academic, or scientific pursuits or the fine arts to activities which do not promote the political agenda of a foreign government.

The bill limits the existing registration exemptions by qualifying they apply “only if the activities do not promote the political agenda of a government of a foreign country.” The legislation also amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 by requiring the disclosures of foreign gifts and contracts over $50,000 made to universities.

“The goal of this legislation is to increase transparency between foreign governments, universities, and communities,” said Wilson in his press release.

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March 2, 2018 •

Foreign Agents Registration Amendments Act Introduced in US Senate

On March 1, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Included in the bipartisan bill, the Foreign Agents Registration Amendments Act, are the creation of an enforcement unit in the National […]

On March 1, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate to amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Included in the bipartisan bill, the Foreign Agents Registration Amendments Act, are the creation of an enforcement unit in the National Security Division and updates to civil and criminal enforcement procedures. The legislation also creates a definition for the term ‘‘operative of a foreign government.”

Additionally, the bill would call for self-identification of registered individuals when meeting with members of congress or their staff.

Specifically, the bill states, “It shall be unlawful for any agent of a foreign principal registered under [FARA] to fail to disclose before or during any meeting with a member of Congress or staff of a member of Congress that the agent has registered under [FARA].’’

The bill was introduced by Republican Senators Todd Young and John Cornyn and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Jeanne Shaheen.

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