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.”
Associate Eric Lynch recently published an article discussing the set of D.C. Council resolutions aimed at reforming the District’s criminal code & the federal government’s response. Read the article here.
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.”
Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article about a lawyer purportedly lobbying for Albania in The Daily Beast.
“The fact pattern certainly raised additional questions for me,” said Joshua Rosenstein, an attorney with the firm Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock.
Rosenstein, like all of the legal authorities The Daily Beast consulted for this story, stressed that the crucial question is whether Kokalari had met the criteria to be considered an agent of a foreign principal under the federal Foreign Agent Registration Act. Crucial to this is whether Kokalari was ever compensated for her work, and whether she operated under the direction or control of another foreign actor.
Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in an article about FARA exposure for think tanks that involve foreign government officials in their activities.
Joshua Ian Rosenstein, an attorney focused on FARA at Sandler Reiff law firm, told Responsible Statecraft that the scenario of a foreign politician serving on the advisory board of a program at U.S. think tank wouldn’t necessarily trigger a FARA registration but he would advise a stringent set of measures in order to avoid a principal-agent relationship between the foreign individual and the U.S. think tank. “I would recommend a set of guardrails to make sure that this foreign individual serves only in an honorary or advisory capacity and that officers and directors do not need to follow their directions,” said Rosenstein. “I might go even further as suggesting that the foreign advisor not make specific recommendations about programmatic activities.”
Partner Joe Sandler & Associate Christina Bustos, with the help of Legal Assistant Hannah Van Buskirk, recently won an important trial court judgment against Project Veritas, securing a jury verdict in favor of our client on all counts.
As reported by Politico, the jury “awarded $120,000 in damages to Democratic consulting firms targeted by Project Veritas, a conservative group specializing in hidden-camera video stings, in connection with recordings made in 2016 by an operative who obtained an internship using a false name and story.”
Partners Joe Sandler, Neil Reiff, and Joe Birkenstock were recently named to the Top Lawyers Hall of Fame published by Washingtonian magazine, making Sandler Reiff the only political law boutique with three lawyers awarded this honor. Read the article here.
Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in a Washington Post article discussing the late FARA registration by Governor Ron DeSantis’s spokesperson:
“The episode reflects standard enforcement practices under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), said Joshua Ian Rosenstein, an expert on the 1938 law at D.C.- based Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein and Birkenstock. A letter of inquiry may prompt a voluntary registration, he said, to ‘short-circuit a more formal determination of a failure to comply.'”
Partner Josh Rosenstein was quoted in a Washington Post article discussing the DOJ’s civil action seeking to force Steve Wynn to register as a foreign agent of China.
The allegations presented against Wynn represent a “textbook FARA violation,” said Joshua Ian Rosenstein of the D.C.-based Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein and Birkenstock firm.
“I’m not surprised that in the face of recalcitrance by the defendant, the Department sought more aggressive action,” he added. “This lawsuit reaffirms what many in the FARA bar have been saying for the last five years, and that is that the Department is no longer going to play a passive role and allow obvious violations to go unaddressed.”
Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock P.C. (Sandler Reiff), the pre-eminent political law boutique in Washington, D.C., is pleased to announce the promotions of Dave Mitrani to the position of Member of the Firm, and Erin Tibe to Senior Counsel.
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.
Founding Member Joe Sandler noted, “We are excited to announce Dave’s elevation to Member, which reflects his outstanding legal work over almost a decade at the firm, and his prominence in the field of political law.” Dave focuses his practice on organizations and candidates for office – from his work advising organizational clients like MoveOn, Color of Change, and Indivisible on nonprofit tax and campaign finance laws, to his work advising Members of Congress and candidates, such as Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Bush, on campaign finance and congressional ethics rules.
Prior to joining Sandler Reiff, Dave served as the Communications Director for a congressional candidate in Southeastern Missouri (where Sandler Reiff was counsel) and worked for the communications departments of the Democratic Congressional and Senatorial Campaign Committees, and for the research department of the Democratic National Committee.
Firm Member Josh Rosenstein welcomed Erin Tibe’s promotion as well, stating that “it is in recognition of her significant contributions to the Firm and to the important work in which our clients are engaged.” Her practice focuses on advising clients on federal, state, and local campaign finance laws, compliance with and reporting under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), and the formation and governance of nonprofit organizations. Before joining Sandler Reiff, Erin served as the Compliance Director for Hillary for America, Secretary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign.