(Source: Politico, By CAITLIN OPRYSKO and With Daniel Lippman) –
FARA FRIDAY: The Ethiopian government has hired more help in Washington as the Biden administration continues to issue warnings and reports of atrocities against the Tigrayan people continue to trickle out. Holland & Knight’s Michael Cavanaugh, Rich Gold, Michael Galano and Ronald Oleynik will assist Ethiopia’s Ministry of Peace with “strategic counsel and federal government relations” before both Congress and the White House, according to documents filed with the Justice Department.
— The six-month contract is worth $270,000, and was disclosed the same day national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with Ethiopian Deputy Prime MinisterDemeke Mekonnen, according to the White House, to convey the administration’s “grave concern” over the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country, which Secretary of State Tony Blinken has said amounts to “ethnic cleansing” by the government in Addis Ababa against the Tigray people.
— President Joe Biden dispatched one of his top congressional allies, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) to the Ethiopian capital last month. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told Coons during the visit that he is “deeply concerned” about reported atrocities, and is “fully committed to investigating all allegations of human rights abuses” and bringing to justice those responsible for the brutalities, according to a letter from Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United States to the heads of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that was disclosed to the Justice Department by the lobbying firm Venable, which is representing the Ethiopian embassy.
— Meanwhile Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer has inked a yearlong deal with the office of El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele worth $1.2 million, the firm disclosed this week. Raul Herrera, a partner at the firm, and Thomas Shannon, a top former State Department official who served for brief periods at the beginning of the Trump administration as both the acting secretary and deputy secretary of State, will provide strategic counsel and legal consulting to the Salvadoran president. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Bukele snubbed Ricardo Zuniga, the Biden administration’s envoy to Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle countries during a visit to the region this week.
— The slight came after the Biden administration refused to see Bukele on an unannounced trip to the U.S. in February, and as Democrats step up criticism of Bukele’s administration amid a record surge of migrants to the U.S. border.