Ron DeSantis' Press Secretary Registers As Foreign Agent Following DOJ Notification

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Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, attends a press conference as the governor announces the opening of a monoclonal antibody treatment site for COVID-19 patients at Lakes Church in Lakeland, Florida, in August 2021. (Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, attends a press conference as the governor announces the opening of a monoclonal antibody treatment site for COVID-19 patients at Lakes Church in Lakeland, Florida, in August 2021. (Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, attends a press conference as the governor announces the opening of a monoclonal antibody treatment site for COVID-19 patients at Lakes Church in Lakeland, Florida, in August 2021. (Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Christina Pushaw, the press secretary of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), has registered as a foreign agent who worked for former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili from 2018 to 2020, upon a Department of Justice request.

Michael Sherwin, Pushaw’s lawyer, told The Washington Post Pushaw’s responsibilities included writing op-eds, reaching out to supporters and “advocating on his behalf in Georgia and in the United States.”

“The work ended in 2020,” Sherwin told the Post. “Ms. Pushaw was notified recently by the DOJ that her work on behalf of Mr. Saakashvili likely required FARA registration. Ms. Pushaw filed for the registration retroactively as soon as she was made aware.”

Sherwin added that Pushaw originally worked on a voluntary basis and made about $25,000 in total over the two years.

Pushaw has been DeSantis’ press secretary since May 2021.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, established in 1938, is intended to provide transparency both to Americans and their lawmakers about who is behind efforts to exert influence.

“The statute requires persons working on behalf of foreign governments or other foreign principals (including Americans) to disclose their relationships to foreign principals and information about their activities,” states a document on the Department of Justice website, explaining FARA. “Agents who fail to register are violating federal law, and they can be prosecuted if their failure is deliberate.”

Last month, the DOJ sued American businessman and hotelier Steve Wynn because he refused multiple requests from the Justice Department to register as a foreign agent for his work on behalf of the Chinese government in 2017, under President Donald Trump’s administration.

“Where a foreign government uses an American as its agent to influence policy decisions in the United States, FARA gives the American people a right to know,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, according to the press release announcing the lawsuit.

This is not the first time Pushaw has made headlines. In August 2021, Pushaw had her Twitter account briefly suspended for violating rules around “abusive behavior” after she wrote “drag them” while retweeting an Associated Press reporter’s article revealing one of DeSantis’ donors had invested in the COVID drug Regeneron, which the governor had been promoting. The writer of the piece subsequently received death threats.

In January 2022, Pushaw refused to condemn a neo-Nazi rally in Florida, saying it was instead a Democratic “stunt” to reflect poorly on her boss.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.