Mueller Looking Into Trump Associate's Dealings With China, Malaysia

Jessica Watkins / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Mueller probe is looking into whether Elliott Broidy, former vice chair of the Trump Victory Committee and a onetime deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee finance committee, has been involved in using his connections in the Trump administration to engage in influence peddling and seek kickbacks from abroad.

In particular, allegations have been made that Broidy sought tens of millions of dollars from China and Malaysia.

With regard to China, he allegedly attempted to persuade the Trump administration to send a Chinese dissident back to China, a favor sought by the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Department of Justice was investigating a development fund run by the now-ousted, highly corrupt Malaysian government. Broidy asked a Malaysian business official for $75 million, allegedly pledging in return to squash the investigation.

Broidy had also allegedly peddled influence with regard to the United Arab Emirates, for whom he and [lobbyist] George Nader acted as mediators. Broidy’s company had helped set up a private mercenary force in the UAE. He tried to put Donald Trump together with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahayan, who also serves as the head of the UAE armed forces.

Broidy lobbied Trump in fall of 2017 to support hawkish UAE projects of colonial conquest, like the war on Yemen. He also wanted to drag the U.S. into the spat between Saudi Arabia and Qatar (in which Riyadh is boycotting and blockading Qatar, which maintains an air base for some 10,000 U.S. military personnel.

He also is alleged to have lobbied for the dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had intervened to settle the Saudi attack on Qatar.

Earlier, in January 2017, Broidy was part of a meeting in which the UAE tried to hook Trump officials up with Russian bankers.

Broidy also allegedly paid a mistress large amounts of money to keep their affair (and her pregnancy) secret. For this task he used Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer.

Juan Cole / Informed Comment
Juan Cole
Juan Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan and the proprietor of the Informed Comment e-zine. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in…
Juan Cole

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