The Trump and RNC Guy Peddling Government Influence for Cash
On Trump’s first official visit to California as president earlier this week, he attended a Beverly Hills fundraiser organized by Elliott Broidy. Broidy is the deputy national finance chairman of the RNC, who became Trump’s latest swamp creature after becoming embroiled in two separate scandals: The Special Counsel investigation and the Malaysian corruption scandal. Leaked documents recently tied Broidy and his wife, attorney Robin Rosenzweig, to an influence-peddling scheme between the Trump administration and the UAE, and to George Nader, who is now cooperating in the Mueller investigation. Through his Hollywood connections, Broidy also has ties to Rick Gates, who recently pleaded guilty to making false statements as part of a plea deal with Mueller.
During the 2016 presidential race, Elliott Broidy served as a vice chairman for the Trump Victory Fund. He is currently a national deputy finance chairman at the RNC. He only came to national attention recently, however, after the document leak, but it is not his first scandal.
Elliott Broidy started his own investment firm in 1991, and went on to become a member of the board of trustees for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Homeland Security Advisory Council, and the Future of Terrorism Task Force and New Technology Task Force. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2006. From 2002 through May of 2009, Broidy was a trustee of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension fund. Then his career took a dramatic turn. In 2009 he was the target of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, and was forced to resign as chairman of Markstone Capital Group.
Later that year he pleaded guilty to a felony for giving nearly $1 million in bribes to four public officials, and agreed to forfeit $18 million to the state of New York. Broidy avoided jail time by testifying against the people who accepted his bribes, and his charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Despite his criminal past, by 2016 he was a top Trump fundraiser and was named him the vice-chair of the Trump Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee between Trump and the Republican National Committee.
In July 2016, the Justice Department filed civil forfeiture complaints seeking to recover $1 billion in assets allegedly acquired with funds misappropriated from a state-owned development company established by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The complaint stated that Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman, laundered $400 million in stolen cash in the United States. Earlier this month, Broidy was implicated in this scheme when a group calling itself LA Confidential, leaked emails and documents to the Huffington Post. They showed Broidy discussing setting up a consulting contract with Jho Low. In exchange for quashing the Justice Department investigation into the Malaysian state investment fund, Broidy and his wife would receive more than $75 million.
Also disclosed in that leak were details of Broidy’s ties to George Nader, who testified before the grand jury last week. Nader was arrested by the FBI in January, after landing at Dulles airport, on his way to Trump’s one year anniversary party at Mar-a-Lago. He is reportedly now cooperating with Mueller and has testified to the grand jury that he represented the UAE Crown Prince at the Seychelles meeting with a Kirill Dmitriev and Erik Prince. He is suspected of funneling money from the UAE to Trump’s campaign.
George Nader was the one who introduced Elliott Broidy to the UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan , and with Nader’s help, Broidy’s security firm, Circinus, landed several hundred million dollars’ worth of contracts with the UAE. The leaked documents now show that, last October, Broidy provided Nader with a three-page memo on the private meeting he had in the Oval Office, where he lobbied Trump on the idea of a paramilitary security force, and tried to set up a meeting with Trump and the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. He also encouraged Trump to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson because of Tillerson’s support of Qatar.
Elliott Broidy is also under investigation in Ukraine for an alleged multi-million dollar lobbying contract which outlines his role as providing political advocacy on behalf of the Russian bank, VTB. The deal was signed June 12, 2014, just weeks before VTB Bank was sanctioned by the United States after Putin’s invasion of Crimea. He was paid for his work through an offshore company, Quillas Equities SA, registered in the British Virgin Islands, but with an address in Dubai. Those dealings with VTB, and the UAE, may put him in violation of the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
By 2017, Broidy was preparing talking points for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for his September visit to Washington, including a meeting with Trump. Some of the talking points included talking up Malaysia’s relationship with the U.S. in fighting North Korea and arguing against the Justice Department’s pursuit of funds from the Malaysian corruption scandal. Two days later, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Malaysia as part of a Southeast Asia tour.
All of the dots have not been connected yet, but what we do know raises questions on whether Broidy, Nader, Prince, Kushner and Bannon were involved in funneling illegal money from the UAE to Trump’s campaign; selling US foreign policy regarding the UAE and Saudi blockade of Qatar; obstruction of justice and corruption with the Malaysian investigation, and trying to set up a back channel to the Kremlin.
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