WASHINGTON – Elliott Broidy, a prominent fundraiser for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, has been indicted in an illegal lobbying campaign to get the Trump administration to close an investigation into the multi-billion dollar plunder of a Malaysian state mutual fund.
Broidy is the youngest person to be accused by the Justice Department of participating in undercover lobbying that also sought to arrange the return of a Chinese dissident living in the US. A consultant, Nickie Lum Davis, pleaded guilty to her role in the US in August.
The case was filed in federal court in Washington, DC this week. Broidy has faced a single conspiracy lawsuit stemming from his failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires individuals lobbying in the United States on behalf of a foreign entity to disclose work to the Department of Justice.
A Broidy attorney declined to comment on Thursday. The allegations are contained in an indictment known as informational, which usually signals a defendant̵
Prosecutors allege Broidy worked with Davis and others to get the Justice Department to abandon the pursuit of billions of dollars that were officially stolen from 1MDB, a Malaysian wealth fund founded more than a decade ago To accelerate the country’s economic development Prosecutors say they have in fact been treated as a piggy bank by employees of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Under the program, the prosecutor said Broidy “facilitated meetings and other efforts and sought to influence officials at the highest levels of the United States government, including the president and the attorney general.” During a May 2017 meeting in a Bangkok hotel suite, he agreed to appeal to the Trump administration and the attorney general, then Jeff Sessions, for a $ 8 million retention fee, prosecutors said.
The effort was made on behalf of a fugitive Malaysian financier, Jho Low, but was ultimately unsuccessful: in 2018, the Justice Department accused and reached Low, who remains at large, in connection with the conspiracy to launder billions of dollars from the fund reached a civil settlement last year to recover more than $ 700 million in assets that were officially attributed to the looted fund.
Low has denied wrongdoing and admitted no guilt for this settlement. And Broidy has not registered with the US government that he works for Low.
Broidy was a top fundraiser for Trump, but stepped down from his role as vice chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2018 after it was revealed he paid $ 1.6 million to a Playboy playmate with whom he was having an extramarital affair would have.
According to prosecutors, Broidy used his White House access to arrange a golf meeting between Trump and the Malaysian Prime Minister. Although that excursion did not take place, the leaders finally met at the White House in September 2017. Broidy himself met with Trump at the White House the following month, and although he did not raise the 1MDB matter with him, he told Davis that he did, court records say.
Broidy’s work also included separate unsuccessful lobbying – an attempt to arrange the removal of a Chinese dissident who was living in the United States on a temporary visa. The dissident is not mentioned by name by the prosecutor, but corresponds to the description of Guo Wengui.
Guo left China in 2014 during an anti-corruption crackdown led by President Xi Jinping that involved people near Guo, including a senior intelligence official. The Chinese authorities have charged Guo with rape, kidnapping, bribery and other crimes and requested the return of the exiled tycoon.