“Nations on All Continents are Spending Millions of Dollars Through Various Channels to Shape US Policies”

That’s the sub-headline on this piece at US News & World Report, which analyzes a database that Open Secrets.org has put together on money that foreign governments and their agents spend on lobbying in the US.  These figures involve money publicly declared under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

It’s worth observing that Congress has enacted extremely strict prohibitions on foreign government contributions and spending on elections, as discussed in detail here.  These prohibitions have been the focus, of course, of the inquiry into whether any criminal activity occurred between the Trump campaign and the Russian government concerning the 2016 election.  But Congress has treated lobbying differently than elections with respect to the permissibility of foreign government involvement.



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