The Hill Quotes Jason Abel on Push for FARA Reform

July 27, 2017

The Hill quoted Jason Abel in a July 26 article titled “Lawmakers Push to Toughen Foreign Lobbying Rules.” The article discusses the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which lawmakers called for strengthening laws on how the Justice Department (DOJ) regulates foreign lobbying efforts. The hearing comes with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in the spotlight amid probes into potential Russian interference in the 2016 election and as former Trump campaign officials register retroactively as foreign lobbyists.

Mr. Abel, who previously, as counsel to Sen. Chuck Schumer, helped the senator craft the Closing Foreign Lobbying Loophole Act of 2008, expresses skepticism that FARA reform bills will advance in Congress amid the controversy over foreign influence in the election.

He says, “You would say that given the issues that are being raised surrounding the election, surrounding lobbying by foreign entities in general that yes, this would be an environment from both sides of the aisle to address whatever loopholes or restrictions in current law.” But Mr. Abel adds he believes the Russia probes would ultimately be too politically divisive.

The full article can be read at The Hill.