Schumer Demands DOJ Probe Into Grenell’s Foreign Entanglements

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February 26, 2020 10:59 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanded that the Justice Department investigate acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell over his undisclosed foreign consulting business in a letter on Wednesday.

Schumer asked in the letter to Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers that federal prosecutors investigate whether Grenell broke the law by failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for work he performed on behalf of a Moldovan politician.

TPM spoke with a Moldovan prosecutor targeted by Grenell as part of his work for the politician on Monday. A former counterintelligence official told TPM that Grenell appeared to have violated FARA by failing to register.

Schumer copied the current head of the FARA unit on the letter, federal prosecutor Brandon Van Grack.

Grenell’s list of unsavory foreign clients has sounded alarm bells beyond the FARA issue, however. Former intelligence officials told TPM that it was unprecedented to have a person overseeing intelligence collection on people he may have formerly held as clients.

Schumer agitated in the letter for the DOJ to find out “as soon as possible whether Mr. Grenell has violated the law.”

“If the reports regarding the nature of Mr. Grenell’s undisclosed work with foreign entities are accurate, he may be subject to potential civil and criminal liability as well as vulnerable to blackmail in his new position in the Intelligence Community,” Schumer wrote.

He concluded the letter by adding that “any illegal activity would obviously disqualify [Grenell] from serving as Director of National Intelligence or in any other position of public trust.”

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