Now, federal prosecutors are examining whether AMI could have in its dealings with Bezos violated an immunity agreement that hit last year. And on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that AMI sent a letter to the Justice Department last year asking for an opinion on the need to register under the law on registration of foreign agents.
The law requires individuals and companies "agents of a foreign principal" who work on behalf of a foreign government or political party to register with the United States government and to label their information accordingly. The law was originally promulgated to combat Nazi propaganda in the years & # 39; 30.
The AMI inquired about the act last year after publishing the promotional magazine about Saudi Arabia and bin Salman.
The magazine without advertising was sold on newsstands. His servile representation of Saudi Arabia as "the magical realm" has been described by some observers as propaganda.
AMI representatives have justified the magazine as a cunning move, citing Last March the Crown Prince's trip to the US was publicized as a reason why "his readers would have a greater interest in" Saudi Arabia .
Pecker's lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, said in an ABC interview that the AMI, in fact, sought funding from the Saudis. But he said the company "never got any".
The Journal reported that AMI wrote to the Justice Department "after several press agencies wrote about the publication of the pro-Saudi journal."
The Department of Justice Refused
"The American media have neither, nor have we ever had, editorial or financial ties with Saudi Arabia," a company spokeswoman told CNN Business in response to Monday's questions.
If indeed the Le was written to the AMI, this would indicate that the company was not completely transparent with the public regarding the making of the magazine.
But the letter to the Justice Department says that someone from the company in the letter "searched for comments" from a Saudi government consultant.
According to the Journal, AMI has continued to follow
The Justice Department's response letter said the company had indicated that "it had no obligation to follow the advice of the consultant".
The DOJ letter stated that "if any of the facts related to the activities undertaken" by the company "in this matter are different in any way from those described in the presentation, please notify this office," as its status registration can change.
Considered the trail of the deception of AMI, there are out
Sam Vinograd, a national security analyst at CNN, said that there is an act of registration to protect Americans.
"We have asked foreign media from Russia, China, Japan and South Korea to do so, otherwise Americans have no way of knowing that what they are digesting is actually content or propaganda that a foreign government is influencing or even directing. ", he said in an e-mail. "Not being able to register as a foreign agent really allows a foreign government to conduct an information war against the Americans because they are able to secretly influence the Americans without them knowing."