George Clooney calls out DC lobbying firm in Time magazine Op-Ed
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
This week, mega movie star George Clooney called out D.C. lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs for representing Sudan.
The African country has been trying to get United States sanctions lifted.
In a Time magazine Op-Ed, Clooney says: “The firm will be paid $40,000 a month by a government that’s on the U.S. state sponsors of terror list.”
“This is a moral issue. This is more than just a financial issue or a geo-political issue,” said Faith McDonnel, who works for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which has been focused on the crisis in Sudan for years.
“We want to have stronger sanctions and support the people who really want freedom and democracy in Sudan,” said McDonnel.
Clooney’s Op-Ed for Time points out that Sudan’s leader, Omar Al-Bashir, is wanted for genocide.
The U.S. put sanctions on Sudan years ago, but the Obama Administration lifted some of them in January.
The Trump administration is reviewing that decision and is expected to make an announcement about it on July 12.
Squire Patton Boggs gave ABC7 News the following statement:
“Since 2015 the United States government has been engaged in a productive dialogue with Sudan intended to improve human rights conditions in Sudan and to secure important Sudanese cooperation with the fight against global terrorism. Based upon progress by Sudan on these issues over multiple years, the Obama Administration lifted some, not all, sanctions on Sudan in January 2017 in recognition of that progress and to encourage continued progress.
A review of that decision is expected to be announced by the current Administration on July 12. Many observers inside and outside of government believe that engagement with Sudan has produced meaningful gains in humanitarian assistance and reducing conflict and that working with, rather than isolating, Sudan is a more constructive strategy to achieve improvements in human rights and religious freedom. That is a legitimate and well-supported policy position. As the leading global policy law firm, for decades we have represented foreign governments and foreign government institutions engaged in a productive dialogue with the United States or with which the United States government has taken steps to deepen or renew relations. While we recognize and respect that others may have different views, our firm will be working with Sudan as it seeks to continue to meet the expectations of our government.”