Former Trump Mega-Fundraiser to Plead Guilty in Foreign Influence Scheme
Alex Berliner / BEI / Shutterstock
Former Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy has pleaded guilty to federal indictments over an alleged scheme to influence the Trump administration on behalf of a Malaysian businessman at the center of a massive international money laundering conspiracy.
In a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington, DC, the Justice Department accused Broidy of accepting millions of dollars to urge the government to abandon or reduce its criminal investigation into Jho Low, who is accused of orchestrating a billion have dollar fraud against a Malaysian government mutual fund.
The filing alleges that Broidy committed a conspiracy to violate the Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires disclosure of lobbying activities on behalf of foreign interests.
GOP money man Elliott Broidy hired veteran diplomats in the midst of an influence campaign
According to a source familiar with the deal, Broidy plans to plead guilty to the charges. "It is the result of an agreement between him and the DOJ that has concluded all investigations into him," the person said.
The government is also trying to confiscate assets from the lobbying campaign.
According to prosecutors, Broidy was involved in the plot with a Hawaiian businesswoman named Nickie Lum Davis, who pleaded guilty in August of a conspiracy to violate FARA, and an unnamed co-conspirator who was previously reported to be Pras Michel. best known as a founding member of the refugees.
The government also accused Broidy of partnering with a senior Chinese government official to promote the extradition of Guo Wengui, a billionaire refugee and prominent critic of the Chinese Communist Party, in exchange for the return of an American imprisoned in China. But the charges Broidy pleads guilty to only concern his work on behalf of Low.
Federal grand jury reviews best GOP donor Elliott Broidy for Trump inauguration
It was widely believed that prosecutors were putting Broidy on trial for his alleged role in the system set out in the criminal information document on Thursday. The criminal complaint completes a tumultuous crash for Broidy, who started the Trump administration as the top fundraising official on the Republican National Committee.
That position gave him significant influence in GOP circles in 2017 when the lobbying deal was negotiated with Low, and prosecutors portray Broidy as eager to capitalize on that influence. He also sought help in his efforts to return Guo to China from Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino mogul and Republican big dollar donor who at the time chaired the RNC fundraiser.
Broidy resigned from his RNC post in 2018 after it was revealed that he had recruited former Trump personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen to hush a mistress. This scandal was exposed through emails stolen from Broidy's account by hackers who he accused of acting at the behest of the government of Qatar.
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