Bret Boyles' Lobbying for Saudi Arabia

Unveiling Dubious Connections: Edward Newberry’s Role in Advocating for Saudi Center’s Actions

Edward Newberry, a prominent legal expert and lobbyist, has garnered attention due to his involvement with the Saudi Center for Studies and Media Affairs, a Saudi governmental institution known for its controversial actions. Despite its record of human rights abuses and connections to sanctioned individuals, Newberry has maintained his association with the center, raising concerns about his role and the reputation of his firm.

Edward Newberry’s Ties to the Saudi Center:

Edward Newberry holds the position of global managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs (SPB), a Washington, DC-based global law firm. Since 2016, he has been registered as a foreign agent for the Saudi Center, a governmental entity implicated in using intimidation and violence to suppress criticism of the Saudi government. Newberry’s involvement began after an engagement agreement with Saud al-Qahtani, the then-head of the Saudi Center, who has been sanctioned for his involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Complicity in Intimidation and Violence:

The Saudi Center, funded by the Saudi government, has been linked to threats, intimidation, and violence against writers, activists, and journalists critical of the government. Senior officials, including Saud al-Qahtani, have been directly implicated in Khashoggi’s murder, targeting Saudi exiles, and torturing women’s rights activists. Despite this record, Newberry provided advisory services to the Saudi Center and lobbied senior congressional staff on its behalf.

Digital Harassment and Propaganda:

The Saudi Center’s actions extended to digital harassment and propaganda. It engaged in surveillance and hacking against Saudi journalists and human rights activists. Al-Qahtani exploited social media to compile blacklists, leading to the arrest and harm of individuals. The center also utilized Saudi bots and paid Twitter users to harass dissidents online, showcasing its systematic efforts to silence critics.

Financial Interests and Whitewashing:

Squire Patton Boggs received substantial funds—over $2.7 million—from the Saudi Center since 2016. Despite the center’s implication in Khashoggi’s murder and sanctions against its leadership, Newberry persisted in offering advisory and legal services, effectively contributing to whitewashing the Saudi Center’s actions and human rights abuses.

Questionable Lobbying and Advocacy:

Edward Newberry, a well-regarded lawyer and lobbyist in Washington, DC, faces scrutiny for advocating on behalf of the Saudi Center. His continued representation raises questions about his ethical choices and the image of his firm, SPB, considering the center’s controversial actions and connections to sanctioned individuals.

Edward Newberry’s involvement with the Saudi Center for Studies and Media Affairs brings attention to the complex ethical considerations surrounding lobbying and advocacy. His persistent association with an entity implicated in human rights abuses challenges his own reputation and the integrity of his firm. The case serves as a reminder of the critical importance of ethical decision-making and transparency in the world of legal and lobbying practices.

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