On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote a letter to U.S. Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Attorney General William Barr calling for an investigation of the lobbying firm Amsterdam & Partners LLP after the firm took over a contract to work on behalf of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela. Scott wants the agencies to look into the services to be performed and the source of the money paid to Amsterdam & Partners to determine if it violates the sanctions imposed against the Maduro regime and whether there is any effort to circumvent FARA regulations.
Scott’s letter is below:
Dear Attorney General Barr and Secretary Mnuchin:
I am deeply concerned by recent reports about Venezuelan agents of Nicolás Maduro retaining firms to lobby the United States government to ease the sanctions imposed against the brutal and illegitimate Maduro regime. These efforts first came to light through the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filings by the law firm Foley & Lardner and the Sonoran Policy Group, which disclosed details of a large contract secured by Reinaldo Muñoz Pedroza, a political appointee of Maduro.
I called on Foley & Lardner to stop working for Maduro and they heeded that call in early February. I was recently troubled to learn that the firm Amsterdam & Partners LLP has picked up the shameful mantle of lobbying for the Maduro dictatorship. Amsterdam has even publicly stated it would not file a FARA registration statement, a mandatory disclosure whenever agents of foreign principals are retained to engage in political activities specified under the statute.
Given that the prior firm complied with the FARA disclosure requirements, and Amsterdam has subsequently assumed the representation of Reinaldo Muñoz Pedroza, Amsterdam’s public refusal to comply with FARA and disclose the details of its relationship with this foreign principal is alarming. I ask that you investigate the nature of the contractual agreement between Amsterdam & Partners LLP and Reinaldo Muñoz Pedroza, including the services to be performed and the source of the monies to be paid, to determine if such representation violates the sanctions imposed against the Maduro regime and implicates the disclosure requirements of FARA.
I further ask that you review transactions involving Pedroza or Amsterdam, to determine if they are in violation of any existing sanctions.
Thank you for your commitment and tireless work to fight against the illegitimate Maduro regime and stand up for freedom. Maduro and his agents are pursuing a campaign to attempt to influence the U.S. government to maintain their stranglehold on power in Venezuela, but we cannot let that happen. I appreciate your prompt and thorough review of this troubling activity by Amsterdam & Partners LLP.