Pro Publica and Sunlight Lift the Lid on Foreign Lobbying


Former government officials in the pay of foreign interests. Lobbyists introducing foreign military officials to defense contractors. Foreign agents descending on Capitol Hill to push the policy objectives of the governments that employ them…

That’s just some of what you’ll find in the Foreign Lobbyist Influence Tracker, a joint project of the ProPublica and the Sunlight Foundation. We teamed up to create a searchable and easily accessible database of 2008 filings made under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, or FARA.

FARA requires lobbyists representing foreign governments, political parties and government-controlled organizations to disclose detailed information about their activities – far more information than domestic lobbyists provide – with the Justice Department. We took a year’s worth of these filings, digitized them, and are making them available through our Foreign Lobbying Influence Tracker.

The new tool can be used to find out which members of Congress were lobbied on behalf of a foreign country, by which country, client or lobbying firm and what issues were discussed at the meeting. Read all about what we found using the tool, and take a look at some highlights of what we found in the data.