Tagged: uae

Mark Fabiani, foreign agent

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Mark Fabiani

Is there a more interesting lawyer in San Diego than Mark Fabiani?

San Diego still isn’t quite sure what to make of the former Clinton White House lawyer and Gore’s deputy camapaign manager in 2000. He’s a creature that is rarely sighted in these parts: a real flesh-and-blood D.C. operator.

Fabiani is perhaps best known in San Diego as special counsel to the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. He’s also serving as media point person for seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into the cyclist’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Also on the Fabiani client list is the estranged wife of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Goldman Sachs the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in the midst of a costly Writers Guild strike.

The mere fact that Fabiani is representing someone often qualifies as news. But to me, the most of interesting of his clients, is one which is never publicly acknowledged: Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr al Qasimi.

According to this June 2009 filing with the US Justice Department, Fabiani and his business partner, Christopher Lehane, another Clinton White House veteran, are being paid $8,333 a month to represent the interests of Qasimi on a “part-time” basis.

Fabiani is part of Qasimi’s effort to return to power in Ras Al Khaimah, part of the United Arab Emirates. The 67-year-old sheikh was deposed in 2003 after 45 years as part of the emirate’s leadership, claims he is rightful heir to the throne.

Fabiani and Lehane’s work for Qasimi includes communicating with U.S. government officials, U.S. business leaders, providing logistical and operational support for Qasimi’s U.S. visits and developing new relationships with think tanks and and U.S. non-profit organizations.

Both men are working for Qasimi as subcontractors to California Strategies LLC. Documents obtained by Der Spiegel show that Qasimi paid California Strategies at least $3.7 million.

I’m not saying there’s anything nefarious about this. There are plenty of lawyers doing this kind of work back in DC. In San Diego, Fabiani is the big fish in the much smaller pond.