The law has been broadly discussed in the last year because of Justice Department investigations into Trump campaign associates
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Republican from Iowa, joined at left by Sen. Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite, photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
26 of July 2017 19:44:30
WASHINGTON – Criminal prosecutions are rare for people who fail to register as foreign agents, according to a top Justice Department official who testified Wednesday about an obscure law receiving new attention amid investigations into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.Adam Hickey, a deputy assistant attorney general, told Senate lawmakers that the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) — a law aimed at ensuring transparency about lobbying efforts done in the U.S. at the direction of foreign governments or principals — contains multiple exemptions for registration and requires proof that someone intended to break the law by failing to disclose their work.
The committee also removed Donald Trump Jr. from the list of witnesses scheduled for Wednesday's public hearing.The panel has sought to talk with Manafort about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, among other issues including his foreign political work on behalf of Ukrainian interests.On Tuesday Manafort met with Senate Intelligence Committee staff, providing his recollection of the Veselnitskaya meeting and agreeing to turn over contemporaneous notes of the gathering last year, according to people familiar with the closed-door interview. Manafort "answered their questions fully," said his spokesman, Jason Maloni.Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner was also on Capitol Hill Tuesday for a second day of private meetings, this time for a conversation with lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.Both Manafort and Kushner have been cooperating with the committees which, along with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, are probing Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump associates.The two men have faced particular scrutiny about attending the Trump Tower meeting because it was flatly described in emails to Donald Trump Jr. as being part of a Russian government effort to aid Trump's presidential campaign.Manafort's discussion with committee staff was limited to his recollection of the June 2016 meeting, according to two people familiar with the interview. Both demanded anonymity to discuss details because the interview occurred behind closed doors. Manafort had previously disclosed the meeting in documents he turned over to the committee. He has now provided the committee with notes he took at the time, one of the people said.
7 times members of Trump's team dodged questions on the Russia investigation pic.twitter.com/4Zi2boStJQ— POLITICO (@politico) July 26, 2017