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Fulbright Arranged for Law Firm to Which He is Affiliated to Give Advice to United Arab Emirates

January 23, 1976
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright arranged an agreement for a Washington law firm with which he is affiliated to give “advice and guidance” to the United Arab Emirates, records at the Department of Justice examined by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency showed today.

Acting for the firm of Hogan and Hartson which is registered as a foreign agent at the Department, Fulbright initiated correspondence last summer with UAE Ambassador Saeed Ahmad Ghobash for a proposal “under which I and my firm would serve as counsel” to the Emirates, a group of small sparsely populated sheikhdoms with vast petroleum resources along the Persian Gulf.

Copies of the Fulbright letter dated Aug. 12, outlining services and calling for an annual retainer fee of $25,000 and Ghobash’s acceptance of the proposal dated Nov. 28 are on file at the Department as required by law. Fulbright joined Hogan and Hartson Feb. 1, 1975, less than a month after he left the Senate where he had served 30 years, half of that time as chairman of its Foreign Relations Committee.

Fulbright lost his Senate seat when he was defeated in the 1974 Democratic primaries by Arkansas Gov. Dale Bumpers who was subsequently elected. As chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee. Fulbright was a frequent critic of Israeli policies and leader of the minority of Senators who opposed U.S. aid programs for Israel proposed by successive administration.


In his letter to the UAE, Fulbright said he contemplated that his firm’s services “would include counsel with respect to United States legislative matters or executive policies which might affect the interests of the Emirates as well as counsel with respect to commercial or other ventures with United States or foreign business under consideration by your government.” The letter noted that the UAE Ambassador had “suggested” the proposal.

Fulbright is reported to have visited the United Arab Emirates recently. He is not personally registered as a foreign agent in the papers submitted Dec. 18 to the Justice Department bearing the signature of Edward A. McDermott, a member of the law firm with which Fulbright is affiliated. Neither man responded to a phone call placed to their office by the JTA. In his reports to the Department McDermott said the purpose of the agreement is to provide “usual legal representation and advice” He also reported “political activities” were not included.

Justin O’Shea, chief of the registration of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, told the JTA that Fulbright “may have to register” as a foreign agent “but I am not sure yet.” He noted that there are “certain exemptions for lawyers” regarding registration. The Hogan and Hartson stationary lists the names of 60 lawyers associated with it. Among them is former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton who served for a time as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations under Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.

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