Saturday, October 10, 2020

Elliot Broidy-- One Of The Worst Trumpists America Has Offered The World-- Has Agreed To An Inconsequential Guilty Plea Covering Up His Real Crimes-- And Trump's



It seems this case should have closed years ago-- but this isn't a TV show like The Balcklist and well-connected, crooked multimillionaires have a way of drawing these things out forever. No doubt Broidy expects to be eventually pardoned by Trump. Broidy is going to plead guilty to relatively minor crimes involved in failure to disclose that he was a lobbyist attempting to stop a US criminal investigation into a multi-billion dollar fraud at a Malaysian investment fund, while protecting Trump and the Mercer family from far more serious charges involving the Saudis and Emeratis. Broidy gets to pleas to one count of criminal conspiracy... and the rest all disappears. Unfuckingbelievable!!

"Broidy," reported CNN, "is expected to plead guilty to the conspiracy charge later this month in a deal with the Justice Department to resolve its investigations of him, according to a person familiar with the investigation." Yes, the Trump Justice Department-- William Barr's Justice Department, a hive of corruption and grotesque swamp-enlargement.

The idea is to disappear the serious Broidy cases in lieu of this pipsqueak of a case. It's a smoke screen:
According to a court filing, Broidy and others used encrypted messaging services to conceal a two-pronged lobbying effort and the millions of dollars in payments they received from Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman whom the Justice Department later charged with looting 1Malaysian Development Berhad of billions of dollars. Low has denied the allegations.

Broidy was also charged with illicitly lobbying the Trump administration for the removal of a Chinese national living in the US who is wanted by the Chinese government. According to the criminal charges, Broidy attempted to facilitate meetings between a Chinese minister and top officials in the Trump administration, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security during a May 2017 visit. Neither lobbying effort was successful.

The investigation into the lobbying campaign has resulted in charges against at least two other individuals, including a former Justice Department employee. It is also the culmination of a multi-year investigation into Broidy and marks a fall for the former Republican fundraiser who had risen to the top of GOP circles with access to the President.

Broidy, a Los Angeles businessman and longtime Republican, had helped the Trump inaugural committee raise a record $107 million. He also served as deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee from 2017 until April 2018 when he resigned in the wake of disclosures that Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, had facilitated a $1.6 million payment to a former Playboy model who says she became pregnant by Elliot Broidy.

At the time, Broidy admitted to the relationship, but he did not address whether he impregnated the woman.

While serving in those top positions, prosecutors allege, Broidy was simultaneously looking to cash in on his access to the President and administration officials. It was then, prosecutors allege, that he began the lobbying campaign on behalf of Low.

Prosecutors have been investigating the covert lobbying effort nearly from its start. In 2018 the Justice Department's public integrity unit announced criminal charges against George Higginbotham, a Justice Department employee, for helping arrange bank accounts to facilitate the transfer of money from Low to the lobbyists. Higginbotham has pleaded guilty.

Last year federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, which is also investigating the fraud at 1MDB, subpoenaed the inaugural committee for information about Broidy's contacts with foreign leaders and businesses, sources familiar with the investigation told CNN. The subpoena sought records relating to Broidy, five companies associated with him, and foreign politicians-- including the presidents of Angola and the Republic of Congo and two Romanian politicians, the sources said.

By August, Nickie Lum Davis, an associate of Broidy, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the secret lobbying effort.

The criminal charges are not Broidy's first brush with the law. In 2009 Broidy pleaded guilty to New York state charges, admitting he paid nearly $1 million as part of a pay-to-play scheme to win an investment for his private equity fund from the state's pension fund. He avoided jail time by cooperating with authorities.
Angola? The Congo? The real Broidy story is about Broidy using cash from the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates to bribe Trump. But there is not a peep about either in the CNN report. How is that even possible? No mentions of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Erik Prince, Robert Mercer (and his Secure America Now SuperPAC) and Broidy's business partner, repeat child sex abuser George Nader, currently serving a 10 ten year prison term. Someone wants the Elliot Broidy story to just be about Malaysia, the Fugees and a Chinese billionaire.

Back in May of 2018, the Business Insider reported that after Broidy spent a year cultivating a couple of the corrupt princes from Arabian Peninsula, he "thought he was finally close to nailing more than $1 billion in business. He had ingratiated himself with crown princes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who were seeking to alter US foreign policy and punish Qatar, an archrival in the Gulf that he dubbed 'the snake.' To do that, the California businessman had helped spearhead a secret campaign to influence the White House and Congress, flooding Washington with political donations. Broidy and his business partner, Lebanese-American George Nader, pitched themselves to the crown princes as a backchannel to the White House, passing the princes' praise-- and messaging-- straight to the president's ears... Broidy and Nader sought to get an anti-Qatar bill through Congress while obscuring the source of the money behind their influence campaign... Broidy's campaign to alter US policy in the Middle East and reap a fortune for himself shows that one of the president's top money men found the swamp as navigable as ever with Trump in office."
Saudi Arabia was finding a new ascendancy following Trump's election. Broidy sought to claim credit for it, emails show, and was keen to collect the first installment of $36 million for an intelligence-gathering contract with the UAE.

It all might have proceeded smoothly save for one factor: the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to look into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In many ways, the partnership between Broidy, 60, and Nader, 59, embodies the insider influence that has given contractors in D.C. the nickname "beltway bandits."

Both of their careers were marked by high-rolling success and spectacular falls from grace-- and criminal convictions. The onset of the Trump administration presented an opportunity: a return to glory.

Broidy, who made a fortune in investments, was finance chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2006 to 2008. But when a New York state pension fund decided to invest $250 million with him, investigators found that he had plied state officials with nearly $1 million in illegal gifts while collecting $18 million in management fees.

In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty to a felony charge of rewarding official misconduct.

"In seeking investments from the New York State Common Retirement Fund, I made payments for the benefit of high-ranking officials at the Office of the New York State Comptroller, who had influence and decision-making authority over investment decisions," Broidy said in his plea and cooperation agreement. ...Mueller's team was interested in two meetings that took place before Donald Trump's inauguration. One was in the Seychelles, a tropical archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which drew scrutiny because it included Prince, an informal adviser to Trump, and Russian investor Kirill Dmitriev, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting has prompted questions about whether it was an attempt to establish a backchannel between Russia and the incoming Trump administration.

The other meeting was at Trump Tower in New York.

Nader and MBZ [UAE's Prince Mohammed bin Zayed] were at both.

...In late September, Broidy arranged for the most coveted meeting for any lobbyist in Washington: an audience for himself with the president in the Oval Office.

In advance of the meeting, Nader wrote Broidy a script, an email shows. There were several objectives: to sell the idea for a Muslim fighting force, to keep the president from intervening on Qatar and to arrange a discreet meeting between Trump and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

The princes "are counting on you to relate it blunt and straight," Nader wrote.

Nader told Broidy the meeting was potentially historic and to "take advantage of this priceless asset."

And there was one more thing. Nader asked Broidy to tell the president about his connections with the crown princes, using code names for all three.

"Appreciate how you would make sure to bring up my role to Chairman," Nader emailed. "How I work closely with Two Big Friends."

After the Oct. 6 meeting, Broidy reported back to Nader that he had passed along the messages and had urged the president to stay out of the dispute with Qatar. He also said he explained Circinus' plan to build a Muslim fighting force.

"President Trump was extremely enthusiastic," he wrote. Broidy said Trump asked what the next step would be and that he told the president he should meet with the crown prince from the UAE, adding, "President Trump agreed that a meeting with MBZ was a good idea."

...Despite that successful readout, Nader wanted more: He wanted a photo of himself with the president-- a big request for a convicted pedophile.

Broidy was co-hosting a fundraiser for Trump and the Republican National Committee in Dallas on Oct. 25. The Secret Service had said Nader wouldn't be allowed to meet the president. It was not clear if the objections were related to his convictions for sexually abusing children.

Broidy drafted an email to Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, asking him to intervene on behalf of his friend, whom he oddly called "George Vader"-- a misnomer that appears elsewhere in the emails.

"One of my companies does deep vetting for the US government," he wrote. "We ran all data bases including FBI and Interpol and found no issues with regard to Mr. Vader."

There was another issue. RNC officials had decreed there would be no photos with the president without payment. Broidy suggested that Nader meet the suggested threshold with a donation between $100,000 and $250,000.

It's unclear exactly how the two issues were resolved. Records from the Federal Election Commission show no donations from either George Nader or "George Vader," but on Nov. 30, Broidy gave $189,000 to the RNC-- more than he had given to the RNC in over two decades of Republican fundraising.

The result: a picture of Nader and Trump grinning in front of the American flag.

Broidy met Trump once again on Dec. 2. He reported back to Nader that he'd told Trump the crown princes were "most favorably impressed by his leadership." He offered the crown princes' help in the Middle East peace plan being developed by Jared Kushner. He did not tell Trump that his partner had complete contempt for the plan-- and for the president's son-in-law.

"You have to hear in private my Brother what Principals think of 'Clown prince's' efforts and his plan!" Nader wrote. "Nobody would even waste cup of coffee on him if it wasn't for who he is married to."

Days after Broidy's meeting with Trump, the UAE awarded Broidy the intelligence contract the partners had been seeking for up to $600 million over 5 years, according to a leaked email.

...The FBI raided the premises of Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, seeking information on hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who said she'd had an affair with the president.

Broidy, it turned out, was also a Cohen client. He'd had an affair with Playboy bunny Shera Bechard, who got pregnant and later had an abortion. Broidy agreed to pay her $1.6 million to help her out, so long as she never spoke about it.

"I acknowledge I had a consensual relationship with a Playboy Playmate," Broidy said in a statement the day the news broke. He apologized to his wife and resigned from the RNC. There is no indication Broidy is under investigation by Mueller's team.

In the end, Nader and Broidy's anti-Qatar operation lost its momentum. There has been no traction on the effort to get the base in Qatar moved to the UAE. In late April, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for an end to the bickering among Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar during a trip to the Gulf.

Is it any wonder that the overwhelming majority of citizens of America's European allies want to see Trump lose in November? YouGov polled people in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Sweden. And Trump does best-- with a miserable 20%-- in Italy, where both fascism and mobsterism still have some popular support. In Denmark, on the other hand, just 6% want to see Trump win another term. [Just 6%??? Sure, watch the Danish TV version of The West Wing, now on Netflix, Borgen and you'll see why.] In general, Europeans say they would rate Trump as a terrible president-- 81% in Denmark, 75% in Germany, 70% in both the U.K. and Spain, 68% in Sweden, 63% in France and 60% in Italy.

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At 4:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More proof that there is no rule of law in the USA.


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