TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A spokeswoman for Gov. Ron DeSantis has retroactively registered as a foreign agent for her previous work for the former president of the country of Georgia.
Christina Pushaw, who worked for former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, focused on the need for free and fair elections in the eastern European countries, her attorney Michael Sherwin told NBC News.
Pushaw’s decision to register as an agent was first reported by the Washington Post.
According to the NBC report, The Foreign Agents Registration Act required people working on behalf of a foreign government, political party, or entity to register as a foreign agent.
Its purpose is to “promote transparency with respect to foreign influence,” according to the Department of Justice‘s website.
During a Wednesday press conference, DeSantis claimed he was not worried about the news, calling the report an ” attempted smear piece.”
“I am not deterred by any smear piece from these legacy media outlets,” DeSantis said. “The only reason they’re attacking her is because she does a great job and she’s effective at calling out their lies and their phony narratives.”
DeSantis added, “I would be much more concerned with my secretary if the Washington Post was writing puff pieces about her. Then I would think something is wrong.”
The governor said the report and others would only “embolden” his administration’s efforts to “continue moving forward for the people of Florida.”
Tessa Capeloto, an attorney who specializes in FARA work for Wiley Rein LLP, said it’s becoming more common for people to register under the act. She also said the DOJ has become more proactive in contacting people who may need to register but are not currently.
“More and more people are registering, not just lobbyists, but individuals working in the PR world, partners at law firms,” Capeloto said. “So, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s just an administrative burden and I think there is a little bit of a stigma still on it.”