Venable partner Ed Wilson and counsel Andrew E. Bigart were quoted in and April 22, 2015 article in The Atlantic on possibly designating RT, formerly known as Russia Today, as a lobbyist. Classifying RT as a lobbyist in the U.S. would mean invoking the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Passed in 1938 to counter German propagandists, the law was designed to identify individuals or organizations engaged in political or quasi-political activities on behalf of a foreign government or organization.
Wilson and Bigart said they were surprised RT was not registered under FARA. "We're saying to each other, 'Really, they're not registered?'" said Wilson. "I've seen their ads on the street—I assumed they fell under subsection c.1.ii [dealing with publicity agents]." Wilson and Bigart said there were could be a number of legitimate reasons why RT has not registered as a lobbyist and why the Justice Department has not pursued the matter. "[L]ooking at it on its face," they added, "it is probable that [RT] should be registered."