Quotes from the news wire:
China has now taken its place, alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea, in that shameful club of nations that provide a safe haven for cyber criminals in exchange for those criminals being on call to work for the benefit of the state, here to feed the Chinese Communist Partys insatiable hunger for American and other non-Chinese companies hard-earned intellectual property, including COVID-19 research.
There is nothing more valuable today than biomedical research relating to vaccines for treatments for the coronavirus, it's of great importance not just from a commercial value but whatever countries, company or research lab develops that vaccine first and is able to produce it is going to have a significant geopolitical success story.
We have to have an evidentiary basis to say, when you act, would-be-reporter, you're actually acting at the direction of your government and you don't have an independent journalistic ethos that we think of when we look at a reporter, in fact, not labeling you as a foreign agent is misleading because you're presenting yourself to the American people as somebody who's independent and thinking your own thoughts but you're not, you're getting your thoughts from a foreign government.
We were certainly driven by an inspector general's report that outlined the deficiencies on our enforcement of the statute and then also by what we saw in the context of doing investigations as related to the 2016 elections and the pervasiveness of foreign influence in that case in our democratic process.
Fundamentally, the reason why the firm was on the hook is, after the firm got an inquiry from the FARA unit, it then went to the partner who was in charge of this matter and asked about the inquiry, and based on his representations then made a series of representations to the Justice Department that were not accurate, and when you think about the lack of due diligence that went into the work that was done before the representations were made to Justice Department, and when you think about how different Justice Department is from what you would advise your clients to do... it's really remarkable.