The chair of a new super PAC supporting former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bid is a registered foreign agent for Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, according to The Federalist.
The Federalist’s Sean Davis reported Tuesday (original links):
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has a brand new Super PAC in his corner, and it’s being run by a registered foreign agent for the government of Azerbaijan. Larry Rasky, a lobbyist who previously worked as a top campaign operative for Biden, is listed as the treasurer of the PAC, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
“A former Joe Biden aide has filed paperwork to form a super PAC, called Unite the Country, that is set to boost the former vice president with millions of dollars in spending in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary,” Politico reported on Tuesday.
Records filed with the Department of Justice show that Rasky is also a registered foreign agent lobbying on behalf of the government of Azerbaijan. The records, which were filed pursuant to the Foreign Agent Registration Act, show that Rasky was hired by the Azerbaijani government on April 23, 2019. Federal documents signed by Rasky show that he reports directly to Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States.
Azerbaijan is not the only foreign entity that Rasky has recently represented. He and his firm also lobbied on behalf of a Bangladeshi political party through January of 2019.
Rasky reportedly earns $15,000 per month for his services, Davis notes.
Super PACs are independent political action committees that Democrats have criticized because they allow unlimited donations, though their contact with campaigns is restricted. Biden was forced to accept super PAC spending last week because of fundraising woes as he struggles to keep up with his rivals. Politico reported that the super PAC came at a crucial time for Biden, giving his campaign “more certainty that it will have the resources to move forward.” The Politico article identified Rasky as “a longtime Biden friend who worked on Biden’s 1988 and 2008 presidential bids.” It did not delve into Rasky’s service as an agent for the Azerbaijani government.
Biden broke an earlier pledge not to use a super PAC. After doing so, he encountered harsh criticism from fellow Democrats and the media. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) emailed supporters, noting that “Joe Biden went back on his no super PACs pledge and decided to encourage billionaires to form a super PAC to bankroll his campaign.” CNN’s John King noted that Biden had lied about not changing his position on super PAC money.
The revelation that Biden’s super PAC is run by a foreign agent also bolsters concerns raised by Republicans about the former vice president allegedly using his office to sell influence, as his son Hunter enjoyed lucrative business ties in Ukraine, China, and elsewhere, seemingly without any other notably business qualifications or experience.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.