Uncategorized Archive

Birkenstock Quoted in ABC News

Partner Joe Birkenstock was quoted in an article about Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s unusual commission based fundraising program.

“Campaign finance attorney and former Democratic National Committee Chief Counsel Joe Birkenstock said that while the concept of commission-based fundraising is not entirely new, he has not seen anyone execute it before involving their supporters.

‘As is not uncommon, you see ‘outsider’ candidates tend to be the ones who pursue these kind of novel strategies,” he said. “I think they’re gonna find that the juice really isn’t worth the squeeze. But it’s not something I can point to other examples having already gone wrong. I just think they’re kind of tackling a little bit of uncharted territory. And I think they need to be ready for a lot of surprises.’

‘That’s less for specific legal reasons than for kind of overall compliance strategy, and, you know, to some extent, just for optics reasons,’ he said.”

Read the full article here.


Rosenstein Quoted in The Washington Post

Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article in about the DOJ’s indictment of Gal Luft, which reveals possible Chinese influence in the 2016 Trump campaign.  Rosenstein commented on the FARA implications of this indictment.

“Joshua Ian Rosenstein, a lawyer who works on Foreign Agent Registration Act issues, said that neither CC-1 nor Individual-1 faces as much legal exposure as Luft but that CC-1 faces more than Individual-1. It is possible that Individual-1 was not aware that the consulting work that he was doing for the think tank was ultimately being done at the direction, control or request of the Chinese entity,” Rosenstein said. “Because FARA requires proof of willfulness in order to sustain a criminal charge, from the standpoint of Individual-1, if it’s true that he was not aware of the upstream relationship with China, that’s a valid defense. I think that’s not the same for CC-1.”

Read the full article here.

Rosenstein Quoted in Bloomberg

Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article about the FARA implications of the PGA Golf and LIV merger.

Joshua Rosenstein, a lawyer with Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock who handles FARA matters for clients but does not represent LIV or PGA, said that depending on what the new golf corporate entity looks like there may be pressure for it to register under FARA, which requires lawyers, lobbyists and public relations advisers to disclose their contracts and contacts with officials.

“We do know that it appears the new entity will be at least partially funded by the Saudi public investment fund, which certainly raises the specter that the new golf league might have FARA implications,” Rosenstein said. “However, FARA does contain an exemption for commercial activities.”

Read the full article here.

Rosenstein Quoted in POLITICO

Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article about the potential for more FARA registrations by Saudi-funded golf league LIV’s consultants. Rosenstein commented on Gitcho Goodwin’s initial registration.

Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock’s Josh Rosenstein speculated that it’s unlikely Gitcho Goodwin registered in the first place without some initial outreach from DOJ, calling it “generally rare” for a firm to do so retroactively on its own. Gitcho did not respond to a request for comment. The Justice Department declined to comment.

The compliance burdens under FARA are really heavy,” Rosenstein said, so while some registrants couch their filings with statements of doing so “out of an abundance of caution,” “prophylactic registration where the law plainly does not apply is really unusual,” he said.

Read the full article here.

Rosenstein Quoted in POLITICO

Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article about the latest batch of advisory opinions released by the The Justice Department’s FARA Unit.

“I do think that it has the possibility to have wide-ranging ramifications for any company which is hired simply to distribute content, you know, whether or not that company has a specific agreement with the foreign government beyond its regular terms of use,” said Josh Rosenstein, an attorney at Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock who advises clients on FARA compliance.”

Read the full article here. 

Rosenstein Quoted in Southern Poverty Law Center

Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article about conservative blogger Rod Dreher needing to register under FARA for his work with a Hungarian think tank funded by Hungary’s far-right government.

Josh Rosenstein, a member of D.C. law firm Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, P.C., specializes in FARA and reviewed the contract. “If this were someone I was representing,” Rosenstein said in an interview, “I would recommend prophylactic registration.”

Read the full article here.

Erin Tibe Elected Member of Sandler Reiff

Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock P.C. (Sandler Reiff), a pre-eminent political law boutique in Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce the promotion of Erin Tibe to the position of Member of the Firm.

Sandler Reiff advises clients involved in the business of politics, including candidates and officeholders, political committees, party committees, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, communications, consulting, and government relations firms, as well as major contributors to political and nonprofit groups.

Erin’s practice focuses on three core areas — advising progressive organizations and candidates on compliance with nonprofit tax, campaign finance, and voting laws; counseling federal and state officeholders on their ethics and financial disclosure requirements; and advising organizations and government affairs firms on compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and state and local lobbying laws. Erin’s clients include Fair Fight Action, a Georgia-based voting rights organization with national reach, and Civic Nation, the nonprofit ecosystem home to high-impact initiatives like When We All Vote, the United State of Women, and the Change Collective.

“In guiding our clients through the legal thicket of regulation of campaigns, nonprofit operations and advocacy, Erin brings to her practice a truly extraordinary combination of real-world campaign experience in the trenches and legal expertise and skill,” said Joseph Sandler, co-founder and shareholder of the Firm. “We are thrilled to welcome Erin to the partnership.”

Prior to joining Sandler Reiff, Erin served as Compliance Director to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign and to Alison Lundergan Grimes’ 2014 United States Senate campaign in Erin’s home state of Kentucky. Erin graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif and is a Xavier University alum.

Erin Tibe Testifies at FEC Hearing on Audit Procedures

On February 14th, 2023, Senior Counsel Erin Tibe testified at an FEC public hearing on audit procedures for committees that do not receive public funds.

“Erin Tibe said she believes that the current audit process provides an appropriate balance between the need to conduct a thorough review of the committee’s activities while providing ample opportunity for an audited committee to provide factual and legal information and responses to the Commission. However, she noted that the current procedures require audited committees to dispute factual and legal issues continuously throughout the audit process. She encouraged the Commission to decide legal issues early in the process to conserve valuable time and resources for both the Commission and the audited committees.”

Read the full press release here.

Rosenstein Quoted in Forbidden Stories

Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article about possible violations of FARA by US-based digital influencers who were targeting Al-Jazeera journalist Ghada Oueiss online. One of these digital influencers was likely paid by a Saudi prince for her tweets, and is currently under investigation by the FBI.

“This breadth of activity is precisely the sort of activity that our Department of Justice would likely want to look into…to figure out whether or not there is a need to register [with FARA] and whether or not there has been some violation of the law,” Joshua Ian Rosenstein, an attorney specialized in FARA, said.”

Read the full article here.