WASHINGTON -- U.S. senators have questioned Justice Department and FBI officials on the enforcement of a key law regulating lobbying activities by people who work on behalf of foreign governments.
The 80-year-old Foreign Agents Registration Act has come under intense scrutiny in recent months as congressional and law-enforcement officials investigate Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Central to the July 26 hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee were the activities of several Russian citizens, and dual citizens, involved in a shady lobbying campaign to undermine the 2012 law known as the Magnitsky Act.
Committee chairman Chuck Grassley has criticized the Justice Department for not investigating whether people involved in the lobbying effort were working on behalf of the Russian government.
A Washington lobbying firm called Fusion GPS was involved, and was also behind the so-called Steele dossier -- a compilation of embarrassing reports about President Donald Trump before he was a political figure.