Democrats Hit Trump Team With New Charges

Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Tuesday, charges were brought against Barry Bennett, a former advisor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and Douglas Watts, his colleague, for breaching the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). These allegations stem from the duo’s failure to disclose certain activities as required under FARA, which mandates individuals to declare their work on behalf of foreign entities in the United States.

The prosecution claims that Bennett actively sought to obstruct federal investigations into his business practices by deliberately misrepresenting and concealing pertinent information. Furthermore, both Bennett and Watts are accused of providing false statements to federal investigators.

At the center of these charges is Bennett’s lobbying firm, Avenue Strategies. It is alleged that Avenue Strategies submitted misleading documentation to federal authorities. While the specific country involved in the undisclosed lobbying activities was not named in the court documents, previous reports by The Wall Street Journal in 2021 indicated that Bennett’s activities were linked to the Qatari government.

According to these reports, the Qatari government compensated Avenue Strategies approximately $3 million between 2017 and 2018. This payment was for the operation of Yemen Crisis Watch, an initiative that produced advertising and editorial content critical of Qatar’s regional adversaries, particularly concerning the ongoing civil conflict in Yemen.

Bennett personally received $250,000 for these efforts, purportedly to aid humanitarian relief in Yemen, as indicated in filings by the Justice Department in 2021. Despite receiving this substantial payment and his active role in the campaign, Bennett did not register as a foreign lobbyist nor did he disclose his connection to this operation, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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