“This kind of conduct should gall every member of the Senate” – Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Majority Whip
Senator John Cornyn made that statement in a high profile hearing on July 26, 2017 held by the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the Foreign Agent Registration Act – “FARA”, and issues surrounding Russia’s compliance (or noncompliance) with it’s regulations.
FARA promotes transparency by requiring individuals lobbying and performing public relations duties for foreign governments to register with the Department of Justice, and to fully disclose in a timely manner details of what foreign country they are working for, including the exact purpose of their lobbying effort, and financial payments made directly to the foreign agent and/or reimbursement for expenses.
Senator Cornyn took this opportunity on July 26th to draw attention to another foreign country, namely Saudi Arabia and their vast abuse of FARA in an attempt to weaken OUR law; the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act – JASTA that enables 9/11 family members and survivors to sue the Kingdom for it’s alleged financial and logistical support of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against our nation..
“According to press reports, agents of the Saudi government recruited American veterans, flew them to Washington, wined and dined them and put them up in fancy hotels and provided them with false information to provide to members of Congress. They didn’t tell these American heroes who was sponsoring them and who they were serving.” said Cornyn.”
As widely reported, the Kingdom obtained the services of Qorvis MSLGROUP to hire over seventy foreign agents in the months after JASTA passed last September. The foreign agents then recruited U.S. veterans to do the bidding for the kingdom in Washington; however, these agents appear to have failed on several occasions to inform veterans of the kingdom’s role, failing to include disclosures on informational materials used in their recruitment of veterans, and often failing to register with the DOJ or comply with FARA’s regulations.
In response to the Saudi multi-million dollar campaign to influence congress to amend JASTA for their benefit, the 9/11 Families wrote a 17-page letter/complaint to the DOJ outlining the numerous FARA violations believed to have occurred in the six months since JASTA’s enactment.
That 17-page complaint along with the acknowledgement from the DOJ was entered into the Hearing’s permanent record and will surely prompt the DOJ to open an investigation in the near future. – Terry Strada – National Chair, 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism.
Please scroll down to see complaint in its entirety.