U.S. Lawyer Takes $20,000 a Month to Defend Sudan’s Dictator
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Bart S. Fisher, a veteran international trade lawyer, is not a popular guy these days in Washington after agreeing to work for Sudan’s government and lobby the Obama administration.
Human rights groups and Republican lawmaker Frank Wolf of Virginia have blasted Fisher for his $20,000 a month retainer, which covers his work convincing the State Department to remove Sudan from its list of terrorism-sponsoring governments. Fisher also is talking to the Department of the Treasury about lifting sanctions imposed against his client for starving and killing thousands of its citizens. In July 2010, Sudan’s dictator, Omar al-Bashir, became the first sitting head of state ever to be charged by the International Criminal Court with committing crimes of genocide.
The United States has imposed economic sanctions against Sudan since 1997
“I don’t know how Mr. Fisher sleeps at night,” said Wolf, a longtime critic of the Sudanese dictatorship. “If he has received one penny from the government of Sudan, he should return it immediately.” On Friday, human rights activists picketed Fisher’s office.
Fisher has said he is not a lobbyist and is merely representing Sudan in legal matters involving federal agencies. He currently teaches a course in International Trade and Economic Negotiation at Syracuse University.
Obama Administration Defends License to Lawyer Representing Sudan (by Kevin Bogardus, The Hill)
Influence Industry: Sudan Hires Its First U.S. Lawyer in Years, Prompting Protests (by Dan Eggen and T.W. Farnam, Washington Post)
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