A Special Counsel has been appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. Protecting our democracy against foreign influence is something that should have and, I believe has, universal support in the United States.
It is legal for foreign governments to hire Washington lobbying firms to promote their interests with the U.S. government. Recently Washington insiders have been exposed for taking millions of dollars in fees from the Ukrainian Government of Viktor Yanukovych, a Putin puppet. These insiders have made it a lucrative practice to represent unsavory clients like Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Angola’s Jonas Savimbi.
Lobbying for sleazy foreign governments is truly a bi-partisan affair. Many firms run by former high ranking government officials from both sides of the aisle count their clients as Saudi Arabia, China and even Sudan, who’s strongman leader Omar al-Bashir is wanted for crimes against humanity for rape, torture and murder. There have been examples of American lobbying firms holding million dollar contracts with Saudi Arabia and in the 2016 election contributing over $1.1 million to political candidates and causes.
Foreign governments should not be able to use Washington insiders to hide behind and promote their interests, especially since those interests are often at odds with our national interests. That’s what Embassies and Ambassadors are for.
I will work hard to introduce and pass legislation to ban this corrupt practice.