Trump Crony Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

Elliott Broidy, the Republican fundraiser who worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 inaugural committee, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy relating to a secret lobbying campaign to influence the Trump administration on behalf of a foreign billionaire in exchange for millions of dollars. Broidy made direct entreaties to high-level Trump officials or others close to the administration, including Trump’s then-chief of staff Reince Priebus and former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates. Priebus and Gates have declined to comment regarding their involvement with Broidy.

Broidy was charged earlier this month with one felony federal count of conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Prosecutors accuse him of secretly arranging to be paid a bounty of more than $80 million if he successfully lobbied to end a U.S. investigation into multibillion-dollar embezzlement of a Malaysian state investment fund. Broidy has also worked for the United Arab Emirates and has been an outspoken critic of Qatar.

According to presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, who read portions of the plea agreement during a virtual hearing, prosecutors will not bring charges against Broidy in connection with a separate Middle East incident.

At sentencing, per the agreement, prosecutors will present information about Broidy’s efforts “to obtain business from a Middle Eastern country and your client’s efforts to influence US policy towards a second Middle Eastern country in its alleged support of terrorist activities,” the judge said.

Broidy faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison and will forfeit $6.6 million. It’s likely Broidy will receive a shorter term at his sentencing, which is currently set for February 12, 2021.

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