US Public Records Factor in Foreign Politics (Russian and Egyptian)

In the past year, US public records have played a role in two high-profile foreign political dramas.  Most recently, Vladimir Pekhtin, a founder of the United Russia party and chair of the ethics commission in the lower house of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) resigned following reports that he owned property in Miami Beach that was unreported on required statements of financial interests.  Last April, Hazem Salah abu Ismail was kicked off the presidential ballot in Egypt after reports surfaced that his mother had become a US citizen -- a disqualifier under Egyptian law. In both instances, readily available US records were used to demonstrate the truth of the allegations.  In Pekhtin's case, property records from Miami Dade County documented his ownership of the Miami Beach condominium.  In Ismail's case, his mother's Los Angeles County Voter Registration card surfaced proving her citizenship.

For more on the Ismail case, this from the Los Angeles Times.  For more on the Pekhtin matter check the Moscow Times or run your own search for the Pekhtin property records here.