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Eli Lake

Georgia’s Shadow Boss Hires a New Lobbyist in Washington

U.S. congressional pressure stirs an authoritarian into action.


Putin’s dream, or Georgia’s?


Putin’s dream, or Georgia’s?

Photographer: Vano Shlamov/AFP via Getty Images

Congress in recent decades has abdicated much of its foreign policy responsibilities to the executive branch. The Senate confirms the president’s nominees for ambassadorships and high-level State Department positions. The House begins the process to appropriate funding for foreign aid. And there is of course oversight. Yet in the Trump era, the legislative branch has rarely forged an effective bipartisan front to restrain the nation’s chief executive.  

Sometimes, however, a few sharp, well-timed bursts of congressional action can get a foreign authoritarian’s attention.