House Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik’s (R-NY) far-left midterm challenger, Matthew Putorti, a New York City attorney, previously registered as a foreign agent for the “Embassy of Qatar,” according to a report.
Because of this, Putorti has had multiple campaign donations he allegedly made in December 2019 returned to him, the Daily Caller reports.
Putorti’s registration as a foreign agent was for rendering services to the Embassy of Qatar, such as “provid[ing] assistance with legal, communications and public affairs matters” on a “part-time basis,” which was filed in February 2019.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was originally enacted in 1938. Since the start, FARA requires certain foreign agents to:
FARA requires certain agents of foreign principals who are engaged in political activities or other activities specified under the statute to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents.
The Democrat, now, is reportedly working for a law firm in New York as an insurance and arbitration lawyer while running for Congress.
According to the report, in 2019, he had donated $750 to Pete Buttigieg’s campaign and $250 to Beto O’Rourke’s campaign. Eventually, both of the donations from Putorti drew some scrutiny when the information surfaced about his being registered under FARA. It was noted that Open Secrets showed Buttigieg had “returned the $750 to Putorti on June 30, 2019,” in addition to O’Rourke, who had returned the $250 on July 25.
The Daily Caller highlighted more of his donations:
Putorti also gave $4,750 to federal Democratic candidates and their associated political action committees (PACs) during the 2020 election cycle. He donated $1,750 to Democratic presidential candidates, first to former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s PAC — People Powered Action — and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s PAC — Win The Era. Putorti later donated $750 to Joe Biden’s campaign once the former vice president secured the Democratic nomination.
Less than one month after he registered as a foreign agent, Putorti donated $250 to Buttigieg’s Win The Era PAC and $250 to O’Rourke’s People Powered Action. In all, he donated $750 to Buttigieg and $250 to O’Rourke between March 10 and July 31.
He did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for a comment, but at the time, he reportedly told the National Interest, “I voluntarily terminated my registration under the Foreign Agent Registration Act effective July 31, 2019. I was initially registered out of an abundance of caution, in advance of a client meeting I ultimately did not attend.”
Putorti added, “My contributions to these candidates were not accepted and were instead returned to me.”
“The choice couldn’t be clearer. Every day, Elise fights for the North Country and America,” Stefanik’s campaign said in a statement, “while Democrats now have a candidate who was a registered foreign lobbyist for the human rights abusing, terrorist-supporting, sharia law regime of Qatar.”
“We can’t wait for 2022,” Stefanik added.