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Former Trump inaugural fundraiser probed by federal prosecutors in New York

Posted at 11:56 AM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 15:01:57-04

Federal prosecutors have requested information about former top GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy’s contacts with foreign leaders and businesses while working for President Donald Trump’s inauguration, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

The request comes as part of a probe into whether Broidy, a Los Angeles private investor, sought to sell his influence with the Trump administration.

The US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York in April subpoenaed the President’s Inaugural Committee seeking documents and 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.

The grand jury subpoena also requests information about George Nader, a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation who was arrested last month on child pornography charges. Other names listed on the subpoena include a Nigerian businessman, GOP fundraiser Lisa Korbatov and Nicky Lum Davis, a Hollywood producer and fundraiser, according to the sources.

All of the individuals cited in the subpoena have ties to Broidy. The inaugural committee complied with the subpoena soon after it received it, according to the sources.

The Associated Press first reported on the subpoena sent to the inaugural committee. A representative for the inaugural committee declined to comment.

Broidy’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

Broidy served as a finance vice chair of Trump’s inaugural committee and the deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee until April 2018, when he resigned following reports that he paid $1.6 million to a former Playboy model who alleged Broidy had impregnated her. Broidy acknowledged the relationship at the time.

Details about Broidy’s business dealings have leaked into the public after some of his private emails were reported in news articles. Broidy has alleged he was hacked.

Prosecutors have been investigating Broidy for at least a year. The start of the investigation was first reported by the Washington Post.

Prosecutors with EDNY and the Justice Department’s public integrity unit, which investigates corruption, have been involved in a sprawling criminal investigation into 1Malaysian Development Berhad, a state development fund, and Jho Low, a Malaysian authorities have charged with being a key architect of the scheme.

Last year, the public integrity unit announced criminal charges against George Higginbotham, a Justice Department employee, with helping arrange bank accounts to facilitate the transfer of money from Low to pay individuals for lobbying the US government to seek an end of the investigation into 1MDB and Low and to seek the extradition of a wealthy Chinese dissident. Higginbotham has pleaded guilty.

According to court filings, an unnamed co-conspirator selected “Person 1, a non-lawyer business owner, political fundraiser, and financier with political connections at high levels of the United States government.” People familiar with the inquiry say Person 1 is Broidy.

Hacked emails published by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times also confirm the connection between Low and Broidy, as did Broidy’s attorney.

One of Broidy’s lawyers previously told the Wall Street Journal that “at no time did Mr. Broidy or [his wife Robin] Rosenzweig, or anyone acting on their behalf, discuss Mr. Low’s case with President Trump, any member of his staff, or anyone at the US Department of Justice.”

The lawyer also added that Broidy has never represented Malaysia or any of its officials “in any capacity.”