For this contribution to the WTFHOTW thread, I’m channeling Rachel Maddow; specifically the first segment of her Friday show (major kudos to Rachel and her amazing staff for digging into these astounding stories). The person of interest here is Elliott Broidy. A few days ago he was living in blissful obscurity, wielding considerable power, but virtually unknown to the general public. He’s a major donor to the Republican Party, in fact, he has contributed so much that the party made him “Deputy National Finance Chairman.” Next week he’s co-hosting a $250,000 a plate Republican fund raiser in Beverly Hills that Trump will attend (link below). In brief, here’s what he’s been up to (the articles below do a good job of laying out the details):
In 2009, Broidy pled guilty to distributing $1 million in bribes to New York state officials, reaping $250 million in investments from the state. He avoided jail time by flipping on the officials he bribed. It appears that the GOP didn’t Google his name before giving him a job handling their money. (OK, they probably did Google his name, but, as per usual, they just don’t care or actually consider his criminal experience to be a valuable asset.)
According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Broidy began lobbying for the sanctioned Russian bank, VTB, in 2014. Broidy may thus have breached the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (the same act that Manafort is charged with violating).
A leaked email that Broidy sent to George Nader (who is now co-operating with Mueller regarding the secret Seychelles/UAE/Russia meeting) has revealed that last year Broidy pitched a plan to Trump that would allow his security firm, Circinus, to assemble a private army in the Middle East. This army, which would number about 5,000 soldiers, would be funded by the UAE. To work out the details of the plan, Broidy met with the Crown Prince of UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MZB) in the UAE around October of 2017 (MZB was also allegedly at the January, 2017, Seychelles meeting – what a coinkydink!).
Another leaked email contains details of a deal Broidy was negotiating to receive a $75 million fee if he and his wife succeeded in persuading the DOJ to drop their investigation of a Malaysian bank. The DOJ has been investigating the misappropriation of $4.5 billion from the bank of which $681 million mysteriously found its way into the account of Malaysia’s prime minister (who visited Trump in the White House during the investigation – another coinkydink!).
Broidy’s 2009 criminal activities can be taken as wholly factual since he himself pleaded guilty to the charges. The more recent allegations outlined above should be taken with a grain of salt since they are part of ongoing investigations. For example, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine may have an ulterior motive for pursuing Broidy, and news of the other incidents has grown out of a cache of hacked emails that has not been fully vetted. Broidy admits his email account was hacked, but he claims some of the released emails are forgeries – so far, he hasn’t said which ones.
Onto the links…
This is the fund raiser Broidy is organizing. What are the odds Trump will go for a “photo op” shaking Broidy’s hand?
And here’s the news about Broidy’s other dubious achievements:
(Earlier I posted the above link in the “Day 414” thread, but it also fits this post – I hope the duplicate is OK.)
This is WSJ’s take on the Malaysian affair, but you may hit a paywall here:
Post Script: Here’s a fun game you can play while reading the Huffington Post article about the Malaysian investigation – see if you can spot this name: Rick Gates (Manafort’s partner in crime). Also, look for Rachel Brand’s name (she’s the number 3 person in the DOJ who recently departed to take a job in Walmart’s legal department). Brand may well have been entirely oblivious of Broidy’s schemes, but nonetheless I have a feeling Mueller may be knocking on her door to find out if she does have any knowledge.