Matthew Sanderson Speaks to NBC News on More FARA Implications Surrounding Giuliani's Ties With Iranian Group
In the spring of 2017, former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey met with representatives of the Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization until 2012.
Mukasey wasn't alone. Joining him at the meeting was another high-profile American political figure: Rudy Giuliani.
For nearly a decade, the former law partners have pushed the agenda of the MEK, giving paid speeches and writing newspaper op-eds expressing support for a group linked to the deaths of six Americans in the 1970s.
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During that period, he has appeared at MEK-related events in Poland, Albania, Paris and Washington. FARA experts say Giuliani’s speech in Washington in May 2018 and U.S.-based writings in support of the group are particularly problematic.
“This certainly walks like a FARA issue and talks like a FARA issue,” said Matthew Sanderson, a defense lawyer who specializes in foreign lobbying cases.
He said the Justice Department will likely try to “develop facts to determine whether these efforts to influence public opinion in the U.S. were at the request or direction of MEK, a foreign interest.”
“This is a particularly unusual situation because Mr. Giuliani was acting as the president’s counsel, all while acting in ways that suggest he was simultaneously representing certain foreign interests,” Sanderson said.
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