Federal Judge Overturns Rafiekian’s Conviction and DOJ Ends Investigations of Podesta and Van Weber, Causing a Blow to FARA Enforcement Efforts

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Friday, September 27, 2019
Bruce Zagaris

 On September 24, 2019, Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia issued a 39-page opinion, overturning the conviction of Bijan Rafiekian, the former business partner of Michael Flynn who was the first national security adviser of United States President Donald J. Trump.[1]  On September 23, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) notified Tony Podesta, a Democratic power broker, and Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman, of the closing of its investigation for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).[2]