Brandon Van Grack spoke to the Anti-Corruption Report about the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which governs foreign entities’ political activities in the United States and requires “foreign agents” to register with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election, an enforcement audit, a restructuring of staffing at the DOJ, and Mr. Van Grack are among the forces in the last few years that have brought FARA back into the spotlight.
“Companies run a greater risk of bumping into FARA, not just because of the way the law is written, but because of how the Justice Department is now enforcing it,” said Brandon, who was head of the DOJ’s FARA Unit.
FARA is fact- and entity-specific, Brandon emphasized. “It is dependent on the entity, the relationship that foreign entity has with the foreign government, the relationship the foreign entity has with the domestic entity, how the engagement will occur, the type of engagement, the purpose of the engagement, and the beneficiaries of the engagement,” he added. “There are so many variables that, while constructing guardrails for FARA compliance is possible, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution.”
Read the full article (subscription required).