Trump-connected firm signs another foreign client
Ballard Partners, a firm with ties to President Donald Trump, has signed its second foreign government client in as many weeks.
The Socialist Party of Albania has hired the Florida-based firm for “advising, counseling, and assisting the foreign principal in communications with US government officials” related to increasing the country’s bilateral relations with the United States, according to disclosures filed to the Justice Department.
Albania’s parliament is preparing for a first round of votes for a new president this week, a process that could go up to five rounds. The country is in the midst of a growing political crisis, with opposition parties refusing to take part in the general elections in June and boycotting parliament.
The left-wing governing coalition has refused the opposition’s request to form a caretaker government, though it is appealing to a center-right body to sit down for talks prior to the elections this summer.
Disclosure forms do not disclose the duration of the contract, or how much the firm is earning, which is typically included in registration forms.
Brian Ballard, the founder of the firm, had lobbied for the Trump Organization in the Florida legislature and served as finance chair in Florida for Trump during the campaign. He then served as a top fundraising official to help raise money for the president-elect’s inauguration.
Ballard Partners recently opened up an office in Washington.
Earlier this month, the firm signed a one-year contract worth $900,000 to represent the Dominican Republic.
Trump notably imposed tough restrictions on former administration officials lobbying for foreign governments.
In his first weeks in the Oval Office, he signed an executive order banning anyone who worked in his administration from ever registering as a foreign agent with the Justice Department.
The rules, however, do not apply to those who worked for him during the campaign and the transition.