Robert Kelner is the chair of Covington’s nationally recognized Election and Political Law Practice Group. He counsels clients on the full range of political law compliance matters, and defends clients in civil and criminal law enforcement investigations concerning political activity.
Robert Kelner is the chair of Covington’s Election and Political Law Practice Group . Mr. Kelner provides political law compliance advice to a wide range of corporate and political clients. His compliance practice focuses on federal and state campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, pay to play, and government ethics laws, as well as legal ethics rules. His expertise includes the Federal Election Campaign Act, Lobbying Disclosure Act, Ethics in Government Act, Foreign Agents Registration Act, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He is also a leading authority on the arcane rules governing political contributions by municipal securities dealers, investment advisers, hedge funds, and private equity funds. Mr. Kelner advises Presidential political appointees on the complex process of being vetted and confirmed for such appointments.
In a 49-43 vote along party lines, the Senate confirmed Texas attorney James “Trey” Trainor to the Federal Election Commission today. This gives the FEC a quorum for the first time since August 31, 2019, when former Commissioner Matt Petersen stepped down to enter private practice. What effect will this have on the FEC and … Continue Reading
Today Covington released an updated version of its manual for Chiefs of Staff to Members of Congress concerning best practices for responding to government investigations of Members and their staff. Titled “A How-To Guide for Chiefs of Staff,” the manual describes how government investigations of Members and staff unfold and the steps that Chiefs of … Continue Reading
The Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) is offering a 90-minute online training session on Wednesday, April 7th, for campaign committees that use FECFile to file their disclosure reports. The purpose of this training is to address common filing problems and to provide answers to questions committees may have prior to their quarterly FEC filing. FEC staff … Continue Reading
As we reported in our prior client advisory on the wave of investigations to follow the pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act established three new bodies to conduct oversight and investigations on pandemic-related issues. Separately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a special committee to conduct additional pandemic-related oversight. In recent weeks, … Continue Reading
Following the Department of Justice’s announcement in March of an initiative to increase enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”), the Department has rolled out a new e-file system for FARA registrations. Notably, the new system only applies to new registrants, although the Department indicated that it will transition existing registrants to the new … Continue Reading
On May 7, 2019, a federal District Court in the Southern District of Florida ruled that an American company, RM Broadcasting, must register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) for its agreement to broadcast radio programming from Rossiya Segodnya (meaning “Russia Today”), a Russian state-owned news agency. Although the decision … Continue Reading