Trump Ally to Plead Guilty to Acting As a Foreign Agent
Elliott Broidy, a top Republican National Committee fundraising official and close ally of Donald Trump has become the latest in the Trump orbit to be charged with a felony that also implicates Trump himself. Broidy has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Broidy directly made entreaties to high-level people in the Trump administration or others close to it, including Trump’s then-chief of staff, Reince Priebus; his former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates; and Trump himself to meet with high-level foreign officials. Prosecutors said in the charges against Broidy that he and others orchestrated “back-channel, unregistered campaigns” to influence the administration, though their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.
On Thursday, Federal prosecutors in Washington, DC, unsealed charges against Broidy, the owner of an investment fund and a defense intelligence company, for illegally lobbying the Trump administration to drop an investigation into the embezzlement and laundering of $4.4 billion from a Malaysian state investment fund known as 1MDB.
The single charge against Broidy comes after years of reports that federal law enforcement was investigating Broidy’s efforts to pursue business in various countries—including Romania, Angola, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere—while he was also helping officials from those states gain access to the Trump administration. Broidy has long maintained that he did not sell his access to Trump to foreign entities seeking favors from the administration. By pleading guilty, Broidy may have avoided additional federal charges.
Broidy also has a connection to former Trump fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen, who helped Broidy work out a deal to silence a woman with whom he had an affair, mirroring Trump’s own entanglement with Stormy Daniels. Former Playboy model Shera Bechard became pregnant during her four-year-long affair with Broidy, then agreed to a $1.6 million dollar deal to keep quiet about it. It has also been speculated that the money Broidy gave Bechard for an abortion came from Trump, as he was the one actually having the affair with Bechard.