Foreign involvement in U.S. politics and policies has been in the news recently, with allegations of foreign governments hacking into email accounts and releasing politically sensitive materials, foreign nationals making campaign contributions in violation of Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), and representatives of foreign governments or political parties failing to properly register and disclose under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been considering tightening FECA's restrictions on foreign national participation in U.S. elections and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General recently released a report indicating DOJ "lacks a comprehensive FARA enforcement strategy…" Accordingly, it is likely the DOJ Public Integrity Section and the DOJ National Security Division will be actively looking for foreign national FECA and FARA enforcement cases to pursue.
As the U.S. presidential election nears, now is a good time for organizations to review their internal policies regarding foreign national participation in U.S. elections to ensure they are complying with FECA and for organizations representing foreign nationals to ensure they are complying with FARA.
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