FILE -- In this Sept. 6, 2016 file photo, an American flag flies over Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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A Saudi-funded lobbying campaign involving U.S. military veterans that targeted a new law allowing Sept. 11 victims' families to sue the Middle Eastern country in U.S. courts saw some organizers disclose their activities late or vaguely, stymieing public knowledge of the scale of foreign influence in the campaign.The chief lobbyist for the Saudi Embassy in Washington said it encouraged its subcontractors to be as transparent as possible. The veterans' lobbying effort began within a month after the vote. Soon, some 70 new subcontractors would be hired by Qorvis MSLGroup, a Washington-based lobbying and public relations firm that represents Saudi Arabia, according to Justice Department filings examined by The Associated Press.The Saudi involvement was first reported by The Daily Caller, a conservative website, and later explored by the Saudi-skeptic website 28pages.org.Wheeler's firm, called the Capitol Media Group, reported receiving $365,000 from the Saudi Embassy in three payments corresponding to visits by veterans to Washington.Under federal law, anyone working on behalf of a foreign government is required to register within 10 days of being contracted and before beginning any work.
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