Viktor Orban
Viktor Orban

Barnes & Thornburg has picked up government relations work for Hungary's Washington embassy, primarily in the areas of religious freedom and immigration.

Human rights activists and politicos have accused Hungary's right-wing leader Viktor Orban of cracking down on religious rights.

Pew Research Center has cited Hungary as one of seven countries to pass emergency laws in 2016 to restrict religion within its borders. Those measures specifically target Muslims.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, hammered Hungary's prime minister on Nov. 8 for tolerating "xenophobia, nationalism and anti-Semitism while undermining liberal democracy," according to the UK's Independent.

Orban met with US Ambassador Sam Brownback, ex-Kansas Republican Governor and Senator, on Nov. 15 in Budapest to discuss efforts to curb anti-Semitism in Europe and ways to return Christian migrants to their homes in the Middle East.

B&T's contract with Hungarian ambassador Laszio Szabo calls for a flat $50K fee for work from Nov. 7 though Jan. 21.

Craig Burkhardt heads the effort for Hungary's embassy.

He's a Republican operative who worked for George W. Bush's legal team during the 2000 Florida recount, served as chief counsel for technology in the Commerce Dept. and provided legal assistance to the Trump campaign and transition teams.