Serious accusations affecting U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz have emerged.
The New York Post published a story about a report from the Armenian National Committee of America claiming that Oz violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working for Turkish Airlines without registering as a foreign agent.
Oz contends his work only involved shooting a couple of promotional videos for the state-owned airline.
The New York Post’s Steven Nelson reports:
“Dr. Oz clearly serves as a foreign agent on behalf of the foreign principal Turkish Airlines,” Armenian National Committee of America executive director Aram Hamparian wrote in a letter Tuesday demanding that assistant attorney general Matthew Olsen launch an inquiry.
“These campaigns constituted informational materials disseminated in interstate commerce by the foreign agent on behalf of the foreign principal but did not include the conspicuous statement labeling them accordingly as is required by the statute,” Hamparian wrote.
A former Justice Department official who oversaw enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act told The Post that the charge may have merit.
That former official, David Laufman, led the Justice Department’s FARA task force during the Obama and Trump administrations.
Laufman added that it would be reasonable for the DOJ to conduct investigative work to find out if Oz “acted as a public relations counsel or publicity agent in the United States on behalf of Turkish Airlines.”
The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra has more on Laufman’s reaction:
“If he did, he likely would have an obligation to register unless he qualified for an exemption,” Laufman said. “In my experience, a foreign government ownership interest as high as 49.12% would contribute to a conclusion by the Justice Department that otherwise registrable work on behalf of that entity in the United States — such as public relations work — likely would not qualify for the [commerical] exemption because the activities would directly promote the public or political interests of the foreign government.”
Around the same time, ABC News broke the story of Oz’s political involvement in Turkish elections. Oz has dual American and Turkish citizenship and has long denied politically-charged accusations of holding dual loyalties.
ABC News published a photograph of the celebrity doctor voting in Turkey’s 2018 presidential election, which has since raised concerns among some national security experts as Oz has said he never participated in Turkish elections.
Oz narrowly leads the Republican field for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania and received a slight bump after former President Trump’s endorsement.
The primary is scheduled for May 17.