Former Rep. Mark Siljander (R-MI) pleaded guilty today to obstruction of justice and “acting as an unregistered foreign agent,” in connection with his work as a lobbyist for a group with terrorism ties.According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Siljander, who served in Congress from 1981 to 1987, pleaded guilty today to lying to federal investigators during their probe of the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA).
Siljander also pleaded guilty to receiving $75,000 from the group in exchange for lobbying the Senate Finance Committee to remove the IARA from its list of charities suspected of funding terrorists.
According to the plea agreement, Siljander, Abdel Azim El-Siddig, a co-defendant and former IARA fundraiser, and Mubarak Hamed, executive director of the group, “knew that IARA was part of a large international organization controlled by its headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan,” and conspired to conceal that Siljander was lobbying on behalf of the group. This violates a federal law requiring anyone acting as an agent of a foreign entity to register with the Attorney General.
U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said today of the plea:
Siljander repeatedly lied to FBI agents and prosecutors investigating serious crimes related to national security. With today’s guilty pleas, all of the defendants in this case have admitted their guilt and will be held accountable for their actions.
Siljander faces up to 15 years in federal prison without parole, and a fine of up to $500,000.