Matthew Sanderson Comments on Tom Barrack and Section 951 in POLITICO

POLITICO Influence

FARA FRIDAY: Jurors today cleared real estate investor and longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack of illegally acting as a foreign agent of the United Arab Emirates, dealing the Justice Department another stinging setback in its efforts to crack down on illicit foreign influence campaigns that some foreign-lobbying experts predicted could impact how the department employs a relatively novel approach to prosecuting such efforts.

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But the government may be forced to retool its approach in doing so. “I think the department has viewed 951 as kind of an extension of FARA, and a catchall to bring or to try to prosecute foreign influence efforts,” Matthew Sanderson, an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale, told PI. “I think what we learned today is maybe the scope of 951 isn't much different, or does not extend past FARA, so that it might not be as valuable a prosecutorial or enforcement tool as they originally thought.”

He added that it’s also possible the FARA Unit could shift its focus — at least temporarily — to lower-hanging fruit. That might mean more cases in which, unlike Barrack, a defendant doesn’t have longstanding ties to the region they’re accused of working on behalf of, or where prosecutors can point to the direct exchange of money in return for explicit directives from a foreign government.

For the full article, please visit POLITICO's website.

For all other FARA related news, please visit, a comprehensive online resource of information about the Foreign Agents Registration Act.


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