Matthew Sanderson Comments on DOJ's Use of Section 951 in FARA Cases in POLITICO
FARA-ISH FRIDAY: Jury selection is set to begin on Monday in the trial of former Trump campaign adviser and real estate investor Tom Barrack and his aide Matthew Grimes, who were charged last year with acting as unregistered foreign agents of the United Arab Emirates.
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Caplin & Drysdale’s Matthew Sanderson, who co-chairs the American Bar Association’s FARA Task Force, agreed that it would change the department’s calculus on continuing to charge cases under Section 951. “I think it will affect the posture of the department and going after unpaid influence activities,” he said in an interview. “I think it will shut down — at least for a time — the department using 951 to go after basically shuttling between capitals” and more informal influence campaigns like the ones Barrack is alleged to have carried out.
— Sanderson said that he wouldn’t expect DOJ’s more aggressive posture toward more routine FARA cases. But “they started to pull this other tool, 951, out of their bag for other instances,” he said. “And this trial, I think, will in large part determine whether they're able to continue using this other tool.”
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