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DeSantis spokeswoman retroactively registers as foreign agent

Christina Pushaw did volunteer work for former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, an ally of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, between 2018 and 2020, her attorney said.
Image: Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 24, 2022.Tristan Wheelock / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — A spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis registered this week as a foreign agent for her previous work for a former president of Georgia, her lawyer told NBC News.

Christina Pushaw worked for former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, a close ally of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, from 2018 to 2020, focusing on the need for free and fair elections in the eastern European country, her attorney, Michael Sherwin, said.

Pushaw was paid $25,000 over the more-than-two-year period, which covered her living expenses while she was in Georgia, Sherwin said.

"Her efforts included writing op-eds, reaching out to supporters and officials, and advocating on his behalf in Georgia and in the United States," said Sherwin. "Ms. Pushaw was notified recently by the DOJ that her work on behalf of Mr. Saakashvili likely required FARA. Ms. Pushaw filed for the registration retroactively as soon as she was made aware."

The Department of Justice and Pushaw did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Pushaw’s decision to register was first reported by The Washington Post.

Asked about the report at a press conference in West Palm Beach Wednesday, DeSantis called it a “ridiculous attempt at smear.”

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, requires that people working on behalf of a foreign government, political party or entities to register as a foreign agent. Its purpose is "to promote transparency with respect to foreign influence within the United States by ensuring that the United States government and the public know the source of certain information from foreign agents intended to influence American public opinion, policy, and laws, thereby facilitating informed evaluation of that information,” the Department of Justice says on its website.