Josh Rosenstein Quoted on FARA and Mueller’s Investigation into Sputnik News Agency

Josh Rosenstein was quoted in a Washington Examiner article on whether the Sputnik news outlet is illegally spreading propaganda without disclosure under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. On the issue, Rosenstein shared:

Attorney Joshua Rosenstein, an expert on FARA, said it’s too soon to tell where the probe will go, and that governance and control of news outlets are significant factors in determining if it must register.

“All of this is a fact-specific inquiry. You have to look at the ownership structure, the control, the amount of discretion reporters have on the ground — whether they are serving a legitimate news-gathering function or they are just propagandists for a foreign government,” he said.

Criminal charges are possible for FARA violators, Rosenstein said, but once an organization is registered “FARA does not generally prohibit you from doing this work, it just requires that it be disclosed,” likening it to required disclosure of campaign donations allowable under the First Amendment.

“Whether they have enough to bring Sputnik up on individual charges remains to be seen,” Rosenstein said. “I would imagine they would have to do a significant amount of fact gathering and actually have the goods before they go after a news agency.”

You can read the article here.