Monday, July 4, 2022

Study Finds at Least 90 Lawmakers Became Foreign Agents After Exiting Congress Since 2000; The well-traveled road from member of Congress to foreign agent; WATCH: LAWMAKERS To FOREIGN AGENTS? 100 Former Members Register As Lobbyists: Report

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
At least 90 lawmakers became foreign agents after exiting Congress since 2000, study finds:
At least 90 former members of Congress since 2000 have gone to work lobbying as foreign agents, according to a report from the Quincy Institute.
Foreign interests in Turkey enlisted the most former lawmakers, 16, with governments and groups in South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and China not far behind.
The Quincy Institute research identified some prominent former Democratic lawmakers performing “perfectly legal influence work” at the behest of Turkish interests. They include former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri and former Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan.
“Together, they aided Turkey’s efforts to influence U.S. arms policy towards Turkey, extradite exiled Turkish dissident Fetullah Gulen, and drum up opposition towards the People’s Defense Units, a predominantly Kurdish militia group in Syria that is also supported by Washington,” the report stated. “Many of these former elected officials and their firms also lobbied against U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide — which eventually took place in April of 2021 — warning that the ‘seriousness of the genocide issue’ poses “a potential threat to the U.S./Turkey relationship.”
It is not just Democrats cashing foreign interests’ checks. The Quincy Institute pointed to former Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, doing work for Hikvision, a Chinese state-owned video surveillance company.
Former Sen. Norm Coleman, Minnesota Republican, went from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to representing the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, the report noted. --->READ MORE HERE
Image: kentoh via 
The well-traveled road from member of Congress to foreign agent:
Earlier this month, a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress that, among other important provisions to combat undue foreign influence in politics, would ban former members of Congress from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.
New Quincy Institute research finds that this congressional action is long overdue as the revolving door from Congress to lobbying on behalf of foreign interests has been spinning feverishly.
It’s no secret that when members of Congress leave office, they turn to one profession above all others: lobbying. Year in and year out, it’s the same story of former elected officials selling their connections and knowledge of how to make things happen (or not happen) in Washington to high-paying special interests. While this lobbying is often done on behalf of American interests — like big pharmaceutical, banking, or weapons firms — former lawmakers have been lobbying on behalf of foreign interests more and more often in recent years.
We analyzed Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filings since 2000 and found that at least 90 former members of Congress have registered as foreign agents, representing nearly half (87) of all countries in the world, and the trend has only become more pronounced in recent years. This raises critically important questions for U.S. national interests and highlights the importance of legislation to combat the potential risks of former members of Congress working for foreign interests.
The heat-map below highlights countries where foreign interests — often, though not always, foreign governments — have been represented by FARA registrants who were previously members of Congress since 2000. Dark red countries had more former members working on behalf of interests there. --->READ MORE HERE
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+++++WATCH: LAWMAKERS To FOREIGN AGENTS? 100 Former Members Register As Lobbyists: Report+++++

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