Saudi Arabia has publically discussed its lobbying of U.S. lawmakers to amend The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Bill (JASTA), also known as House Resolution 3815. JASTA allows American citizens who survived or are the survivors of victims of terrorist attacks on American soil to sue foreign countries. This creates an exception to the sovereign immunity law of 1976 and empowers 9/11 victims and their families to sue Saudi Arabia for its connection to the attacks. As part of their efforts to fight JASTA’s implementation, Saudi Arabia and the lobbying firm, Flywheel Government Solutions, have set out to engage with and enlist Governors and Lieutenant Governors across the U.S. to write anti-JASTA letters to their states’ congressional delegation and opinion pieces in the media. A recent appearance of op-eds in different publications with identical language also suggests further media manipulation and ghost-writing efforts by Saudi Arabian lobbyists.
On December 18, 2016, after a long visit to the United States, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed in a press conference that he had been heavily involved with lobbying efforts against JASTA. The International Business Times shares that he told reporters he was attempting “to persuade [U.S. lawmakers] that there needs to be an amendment of the law,” (ibtimes.com). Saudi Arabia also previously warned that it could withdraw its billions of dollars in U.S treasury securities and other U.S. assets but has not done so.
Flywheel Government Solutions lobbyists have been enlisted by the Saudi Arabian Government to work directly with Governors and Lieutenant Governors in the U.S. As well as “engaging and aligning” U.S. politicians to sway state congressional delegations, they are “attempting to enlist” them to write “opinion pieces in newspapers or other publications or to make public statements opposing Congress’ passage of JASTA.” The full text of this agreement between Saudi Arabia and Flywheel Government Solutions can be read at the Foreign Agents Registration Unit site (fara.gov/docs/6386-Exhibit-AB-20161027-1.pdf). In a similar case of media manipulation, multiple anti-JASTA op-eds have been appearing in U.S. media publications with identical sections of language. “The Daily Caller,” “The Tennessean,” “The Denver Post,” the “Cedar Rapids Gazette,” and the “Concord Monitor” are examples of publications which have received repeating and replicated anti-JASTA op-ed content.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to undermine JASTA through these continued lobbying efforts. Saudi Arabia should not be allowed to avoid liability because unclassified Congressional documents demonstrate a link between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terrorists. The Miller Firm is currently accepting clients who were injured and families who experienced terrible loss on September 11, 2011. Please call 1-800-882-2525 and ask to speak to attorneys David Dickens, Timothy Litzenburg, Michael Miller, or Nancy Miller. They can also be reached at [email protected]or [email protected].