Libya’s GNA hires Trump-linked lobbyists to investigate criems of Trump-backed Haftar
The Washington Examiner reported Wednesday that the public relations firm that helped launch President Trump’s election campaign is lining up a fact-finding tour of Libya as part of a $1.5-million contract to lobby on behalf of the government of Tripoli.
Gotham Government Relations and Communication is recruiting journalists to gather information on alleged war crimes committed by the forces of Khalifa Haftar, who won the endorsement of Trump this year for his attempt to wrest control of the Libyan capital.
The effort pits Trump and his former consultants on opposite sides of an increasingly deadly conflict that has now extended its lobbying reach to Washington.
The Government of National Accord is recognized by the United Nations but has struggled to assert control over the whole of the country.
According to documents filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and reported by the Washington Examiner, the GNA signed a one-year, $1.5-million contract with Gotham Government Relations and Communications to “prepare and develop factual reports about Haftar’s human rights violations and crimes against Libyan civilians,” work on messaging to think tanks, and outline the GNA’s anti-terrorism work.
This week, the firm sent out a message “seeking freelance journalists to travel to Libya to report on the insurgence against the democratic government.”
The FARA filing was signed by David Schwartz, who represented Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen in the criminal case over payments to Stormy Daniels, the porn star, and by Bradley Gerstman.
Their New York lobbying firm worked closely with Trump companies and was involved in launching his campaign in 2015 at Trump Tower.