Washington Post Quotes Matthew Sanderson On Richard Grenell and FARA
Two years before President Trump nominated him to become ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell wrote an op-ed about Nigeria’s highly charged 2015 presidential race, a move that drew notice from Nigerian media. A year later, Grenell defended the government of Moldova against corruption allegations from a whistleblower who, Grenell argued, was a Russian operative bent on destabilizing an Eastern European country trying to move toward the West.
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Matthew Sanderson, an attorney who specializes in FARA, said that U.S. entities and U.S. citizens can still be agents of foreign governments — that’s what the law is meant to shed light on. Situations in which foreign governments heavily subsidize U.S. organizations are triggers for further scrutiny from the Justice Department, he said. Sanderson said while there are exemptions in the law for certain activities — such as religious, academic and fine arts activities — they are narrow.
“The Department has historically been very interested in this type of arrangement, has in the past found that registration was necessary in these types of circumstances, and I would expect them to be very interested in inquiring further and investigating whether Magyar Foundation and Richard Grenell should have registered as part of this activity,” Sanderson said.
Matthew Sanderson is also a Member of the Political Law Group at Caplin & Drysdale.
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