Yesterday we raised an eyebrow
at Ayad Allawi's Sunday statement that he's "not party to the exact amount" of his lucrative lobbying contract with GOP power-firm Barbour Griffith Rogers. Now, Christina Davidson of IraqSlogger, who broke the story in the first place, adds an interesting wrinkle
: If Allawi is, as he said on Sunday, getting his money from an anonymous "supporter," he's legally obligated to disclose his benefactor's identity.
Watching Allawi's interview with Wolf Blitzer, it seems that Allawi only mentioned his patron as a way of dispensing with a distraction from his core message that he has a "six-point plan" to save Iraq. But that admission comes with a host of legal complications, Davidson writes, if Allawi and BGR want to stay on the right side of the Foreign Assets Registration Act.
FARA requires persons representing foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to publicly disclose their relationship, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of activities on behalf of that principal.
In filing papers with the Department of Justice, required for compliance with FARA, BGR's Dan Murphy registered Allawi as the sole foreign principal the firm would be representing, checking of the appropriate box to confirm that he was not being âfinanced by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal.â If an Iraqi is indeed paying for Allawiâs US activities, BGR is required by law to disclose the identity of the financier.
Looks like we might be step closer to learning where Allawi's money is coming from -- whether from former Defense Minister (and probable crook) Hazem Shaalan
; from Mashal Nawab, who paid for Allawi's last lobbying contract in Washington; or someone else.