Pro-Biden Super PAC ‘Unite the Country’ Employs Previously-Registered Foreign Agent as Treasurer: Report

October 30, 2019 Updated: October 30, 2019

A super PAC launched to support former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy employed a formerly registered foreign agent for the government of Azerbaijan, according to reports.

According to documents (PDF) filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the super PAC, named “Unite the Country,” has a longtime associate of Biden, Larry Rasky, listed as its treasurer, reported The Federalist.

Rasky, a former aide of Biden who worked as a top aide for his two previous presidential bids, will be part of the new pro-Biden group. Rumored to be joining Rasky to lead the super PAC are other Obama administration alumni, including Florida operative Steve Schale, Democratic operative Mark Riddle, and Julianna Smoot, Politico reported.

Papers filed under the Foreign Agent Registration Act with the Department of Justice show that the government of Azerbaijan had employed Rasky since April 23, 2019,—around the time Biden announced he would join the 2020 presidential race—The Federalist found.

Records also show Rasky works directly under Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States, and earns at least $15,000 per month.

“[The government of Azerbaijan] will pay Rasky a minimum monthly non-refundable fee (the ‘Monthly Fee’) for the Services provided of $15,000 per month, plus a 5 percent administrative fee as described below,” Rasky’s contract with the government of Azerbaijan states.

“The Monthly Fees totaling $94,500 shall be paid in two equal installments. The initial payment of $47,250 is due upon the signing of this agreement. The second payment of $47,250 is due on July 15, 2019.”

A letter Rasky provided to the Daily Caller showed his firm ended its relationship with Azerbaijan in late August.

Rasky also changed the name of the super PAC to “Unite the Country” from its original name “For The People” on Oct. 28, FEC records show.

Rasky once considered venturing into business with Biden’s younger brother, James Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden has come under intense scrutiny for engaging in foreign business dealings while his father was in office. According to court records, Rasky contemplated providing $1 million in financing towards their purchase of Paradigm Global Advisors, a hedge fund, reported Politico.

Biden has been leading a large field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination. He has struggled to match the fundraising prowess of rivals like U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who have far outdistanced him in gathering small donations online.

Biden previously joined Sanders, Warren, and other candidates in disavowing super PACs during the primary season. Both senators, who are running to Biden’s left, have railed against the influence of money in politics.

Under federal law, super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, unlike candidates, but cannot coordinate their efforts with a candidate’s campaign.

The Epoch Times reached out to Joe Biden’s campaign for comment through email. They hadn’t replied by the time of publication.

This article has been updated to reflect Rasky’s ending of his relationship with Azerbaijan.

Reuters contributed to this report.