WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2018 — The investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller of criminal conducted related to the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election could continue for some months. As you prepare stories related to these matters and foreign influence in the U.S. political process, a new ABA Legal Fact Check item posted today explains whether it is legal for foreign nationals, including governments, to influence U.S. elections and public opinion.
Federal election law, administered by the Federal Election Commission, prohibits contributions, donations and other expenditures by “foreign nationals” in any federal, state or local election as well an exchange of any “thing of value.” But foreign nationals are not restrained from speaking out about issues or spending money to advocate their views about issues.
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