, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Was thinking about @kenvogel piece on Treasury allowing Deripaska to restructure companies to evade sanctions in icky ways, & decided to go look at the foreign agent (FARA) filings for Deripaska's reps

This revealed some remarkable FARA BS shared below /1 nytimes.com/2018/11/04/wor…
As a former former agent I know the database and I get really offended at people who evade the transparency disclosures. FARA has a really high reporting standard. No one likes it, it's a pain in the butt, but it's important. /2
So I went to see who was registered as a foreign agent for any Russian interests.

And, despite Kremlin money blanketing Washington, the answer is: NO ONE

The only foreign agents registered for Russia are connected to the Kremlin media ops. Here's the active list: /3
So wtf, you say, all these stories about Deripaska, *the* Russian oligarch lobbying, where's the registration?

Here comes the BS.

Mercury has hidden its registration for Russia by registering for a Deripaska board member in the United Kingdom /4
In the document it is clear Mercury is not representing the foreign interests of the UK, but of Russia and a Russian oligarch, before parts of the United States government and Congress. /5
Nonetheless it has deliberately obfuscated its filing in ways FARA should not allow.

To the casual observer, it's a reputable client.

It also makes it impossible to search for how much money Russia is spending as a foreign client/set of clients to influence "this town" /6
You as a normal human who does not poke around the FARA database for fun may not be outraged by this. But you should be. /7
There are more companies than this. Law firms don't even have to register. Good luck finding them though. /8
One point on what Russia/FARA active list -- also listed is Sidley Austin, a law firm providing counsel/lobbying for VTB Bank on sanctions issues. So they are working on the same issues as Mercury and others, but are actually registered as Russian agents, instead of "UK" /9
And frankly -- the Brits should be pissed that someone registered as a foreign agent of their national interests is lobbying to subvert Russians sanctions /10
Incidentally, in Mercury's most recent supplemental filing (which covers financials and all contacts made on behalf of clients in prior 6 months) -- it lists a lot of what looks like expense reimbursements on Deripaska work but no contacts. /11

.... If you were working, there were contacts that need to be filed.

Granted, Mercury files their report in a BS format that makes it hard to read through and does not fully disclose contacts anyway. My lawyers would never have let me pull this on my paperwork. /12
In this regard: FARA should have a formatted universal standard to report contacts /13
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