Asia, New in Lobbying

Former Trump campaign aide lobbies for Pakistan

A former campaign aide to US President Donald Trump is now lobbying for Pakistan.

Stuart Jolly is representing the Pakistani Embassy in Washington as a consultant to Linden Government Solutions, which signed a contract with Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan in April. Jolly’s work will include “strategic consulting services, advice, planning, coordinating meetings with government, business representatives, and think tanks, and public relations in support of the client’s diplomatic goals,” according to a new lobbying filing with the Justice Department.

Linden has also just added consultant Joseph Fleming to the account. Firm president Stephen Payne and general counsel Brian Ettinger were previously registered to work for the embassy.

Jolly served as the national field director on Trump’s 2016 campaign. He later registered as a foreign agent for the governments of the Czech Republic and New Zealand as an employee of the Sonoran Policy Group before leaving the firm in 2017. In 2018, Jolly registered to lobby for Qatar as a consultant to the Silversmith Law Offices. Pakistan is his only current foreign lobbying client.

Linden’s contract with the embassy is an unusual pro bono arrangement that calls for crowd-funding. It states that Linden “may, upon agreement by client, accept compensation from US based Pakistani-American Diaspora organizations for the purpose of supporting this agreement.”

Linden is the Pakistani government’s only current lobbying firm. However Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party of Prime Minister Imran Khan, registered a US chapter under the Foreign Agents Registration Act in January 2019.

In addition, New York public relations firm Fenton Communications has claimed credit for Khan’s appearance last year on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program at the time of the UN General Assembly last year, as Foreign Lobby Report first reported on June 2. In the interview, the Pakistani leader lambasted India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and took Trump up on his offer to help with the crisis.

Fenton’s media outreach was formally conducted on behalf of the International Humanitarian Foundation, a Houston-based organization that supports India’s withdrawal from the disputed territory. Fenton’s engagement letter however was originally addressed to Sajjad Burki, the leader of Tehreek-e-Insaf’s US branch.