Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort

These are heady days for the frequently criticized Foreign Agents Registration Act, which has taken center stage in the legal travails of Paul Manafort, who was chairman of president Trump's election campaign.

Let's hear it for the gang at the Justice Dept.'s Registration Unit, which oversees the disclosure law.

FARA took a bow during the Sept. 14 guilty plea made by Manafort in exchange for cooperation with Robert Mueller and a lesser prison term.

The special counsel is reportedly pursuing alleged FARA violations by Omnicom's Mercury unit and the defunct Podesta Group. More fireworks ahead?

President Trump also has jumped on the FARA bandwagon. During a blizzard of tweets on Sept. 13, the president accused former Secretary of State John Kerry of somehow running afoul of FARA.

During the press tour to promote his new book, "Every Day is Extra," Kerry said he met a couple of times after leaving the State Dept. with his former counterpart, Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, to discuss the nuke deal, which is opposed by Trump.

The president went on the attack, launching this tweet:

"John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!"

Since Kerry is a private citizen, who presumably is not on the payroll or under the influence of the Iranians or any other foreign government, it's unclear how he violated the foreign lobbying act.

The president, though, earned kudos for correctly naming the FARA law and shining the White House spotlight on the 1938 measure designed to identify those spreading Nazi propaganda in the US just ahead of WWII.

O'Dwyer's is a long-time fan of FARA. We launched O'Dwyer's Washington Report in 1994 to cover the foreign lobbying scene. The publication was eventually folded into