Is This How You Drain the Swamp?

Here is something you should know about Elliott Broidy, who currently serves as the national deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee.

In 2009, Mr. Broidy pleaded guilty to a felony charge of rewarding official misconduct and admitted to making nearly $1 million in gifts to benefit four former top officials in the office that oversees New York state’s pension fund, which made $250 million in investments in Mr. Broidy’s firm, the Journal reported. As part of his guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit $18 million to New York state.

In other words, the deputy finance chairman of the RNC is a felon. He’s also suing the nation-state of Qatar, accusing them of hacking into his wife’s email in December and then using her credentials to hack into his email and to computers at his firm, Broidy Capital Management. His suit may or may not have merit, but either way it won’t change what the hacks divulged. It’s basically what you’d expect a felon to do if they can get close enough to the president of the United States to make a buck.

The short version is that there has been a massive global investigation of a Malaysian state investment fund that has been going on now for years.

The Justice Department alleges [Malaysian businessman] Mr. [Jho] Low, a 36-year-old Malaysian financier, helped siphon off at least $4.5 billion from 1MDB, between 2009 and 2015. Mr. Low and conspirators from Asia and the Middle East allegedly used the proceeds to buy luxury homes in the U.S., frequent Las Vegas nightclubs and fund Hollywood movies, among other things. At least six countries are investigating the affair, including Singapore and Switzerland.

Since mid-2016, the Justice Department has sought, via civil lawsuits in California, to seize almost $2 billion in assets allegedly bought with the stolen money. On Wednesday, authorities in Indonesia seized Mr. Low’s $250 million yacht at a port on the resort island of Bali after a request from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

One reason the scandal has a little extra juice is because it implicates Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. And that’s where Mr. Broidy and his wife thought they could help.

In emails dated during the past year, Elliott Broidy, a venture capitalist and a longtime Republican donor, and his wife, Robin Rosenzweig, an attorney, discuss setting up a consulting contract with Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman at the center of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. scandal, which brought scrutiny to the country’s prime minister, Najib Razak. The messages include draft agreements between Ms. Rosenzweig’s California law firm and representatives of Mr. Low about the possible terms of their business engagement. In one draft, there is a proposal that includes a $75 million fee if the Justice Department quickly drops its investigation.

Mr. Broidy drew up talking points for Prime Minister Razak to use when he met with Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, and Jared Kushner in the White House last September. Broidy advised Razak to make a relatively simple pitch. First he was to announce his enthusiasm for helping to isolate North Korea. Then he was to express concern that the Justice Department’s investigation “has caused unnecessary tension” for him at home “and could cause a negative reaction among Malaysians.”

Everyone involved in the September meeting insists that the subject of the investigation never came up, but when they made a public appearance after their meeting, Trump announced that Razak had assured him he “does not do business with North Korea any longer.” The president emphasized, “We find that to be very important.” Did Razak remember the first pitch and forget the second?

This doesn’t explain why Qatar is involved in this controversy, of course. If it’s true, Qatar targeted Broidy because they saw him as someone who had influence in Washington as well as business interests in the United Arab Emirates. And you might remember that Qatar has been having a major dispute with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf.

The 2017–18 Qatar diplomatic crisis began when several countries abruptly cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar in June 2017. These countries included Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Mauritania, and Egypt. The severing of relations included withdrawing ambassadors and imposing trade and travel bans.

The crisis is an escalation of the Qatar–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict. The Saudi-led coalition cited Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism as the main reason for their actions, insisting that Qatar has violated a 2014 agreement with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Saudi Arabia and other countries have criticized Al Jazeera and Qatar’s relations with Iran. Qatar claims that it has assisted the United States in the War on Terror and the ongoing military intervention against ISIL.

Despite the fact that Qatar hosted U.S. Central Command during the war in Iraq and still allows U.S. military forces to use Al Udeid Air Base as a “logistics, command, and basing hub for U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,” President Trump inexplicably applauded and took credit for their isolation. That may have led Qatar to launch an operation against Mr. Broidy. It definitely led them to start raining money on Washington DC.

In a memo to Mr. [George] Nader last fall, Mr. Broidy said he informed Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, that Qatar had hired Mr. Lewandowski’s former firm at a fee of $500,000 a month. Foreign Agent Registration Act records show the firm, Avenue Strategies, was hired by Qatar at an initial quarterly fee of $450,000.

“Jared was shocked and repeated it back to me,” Mr. Broidy wrote. “Jared offered no further comments to my remarks.”

Notice the two names that came into this story in that last excerpt. Corey Lewandowski, who was forced out as Trump’s campaign manager by Ivanka and Jared, is only tangentially involved in this story. But George Nader is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the Russia investigation.

You might remember that in January 2016, Blackwater founder Erik Prince made a special trip to the Seychelles to set up a backchannel to Vladimir Putin for the incoming administration. George Nader set that up. He also did this, which is basically Hollywood script version of political corruption:

A top fundraiser for US President Donald Trump received millions of dollars from a political adviser to the United Arab Emirates last April, just weeks before he began handing out a series of large political donations to US lawmakers considering legislation targeting Qatar, the UAE’s chief rival in the Persian Gulf, an Associated Press investigation has found.

George Nader, an adviser to the UAE who is now a witness in the US special counsel investigation into foreign meddling in American politics, wired USD 2.5 million to the Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, through a company in Canada, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

They said Nader paid the money to Broidy to bankroll an effort to persuade the US to take a hard line against Qatar, a long-time American ally but now a bitter adversary of the UAE.

A month after he received the money, Broidy sponsored a conference on Qatar’s alleged ties to Islamic extremism.

During the event, Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced he was introducing legislation that would brand Qatar as a terrorist-supporting state.

In July 2017, two months after Royce introduced the bill, Broidy gave the California congressman USD 5,400 in campaign gifts the maximum allowed by law.

If that is isn’t enough to wet your whistle, George Nader is a legendary pervert who has run afoul of the law repeatedly.

A Middle East expert and analyst who consulted with the Trump administration and was questioned by investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge in 1991, court records released on Friday show…

…Nader received a six-month sentence from a federal court in Northern Virginia in 1991 on a felony charge of transporting sexually explicit materials in foreign commerce, according to the newly released records and to prison records POLITICO obtained under the Freedom of Information Act…

…Details of the Virginia case have not been previously reported, but it was known that Nader faced a similar charge in federal court in Washington in 1985 involving allegations of importing from the Netherlands magazines depicting nude boys. A judge dismissed those charges after ruling that the search warrant issued for Nader’s home was invalid.

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Nader was convicted in the Czech Republic in 2002 of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors. He received a one-year prison sentence in that case, a court spokeswoman said, according to The AP.

His proclivity for child porn and sexually predatory behavior towards children hasn’t been the best kept of secrets, but that somehow has not prevented him from operating as a globetrotting deal maker for decades now. It’s interesting to see where he was headed when Robert Mueller had him arrested in January:

Mr. Nader was first served with search warrants and a grand jury subpoena on Jan. 17, shortly after landing at Washington Dulles International Airport, according to two people familiar with the episode. He had intended to travel on to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Florida estate, to celebrate the president’s first year in office, but the F.B.I. had other plans, questioning him for more than two hours and seizing his electronics.

Who was it at Mar-a-Lago who first noticed that this child predator hadn’t shown up for his meeting?

Barack Obama was president for eight years and there wasn’t a whiff of this kind of scandal. Under the Trump administration, this story alone is enough to send a bunch of well-known officials to prison. Even detailing all the potential crimes would take hours. If people thought that Trump would drain the swamp, they were sorely mistaken.

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