Last Updated on October 1, 2020
Elliott Broidy, who has close ties to the Republican Party and served in posh roles at the Republican National Committee, is under the microscope of the Department of Justice for his alleged attempts to sell his perceived influence over the United States government to foreign countries and individuals, including the Malaysian government and Chinese nationals.
Broidy, a venture capitalist-turned establishment Republican fundraiser who previously served as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, alleged took money from the Malaysian government to use his role on the Trump campaign, and access to prominent administration members surrounding President Donald Trump, to lobby the government to drop a probe into the Malaysian government’s corruption. He is also accused of selling his perceived influence over the United States government to aid the Chinese Communist Party by extraditing a Chinese national who is a dissident and critic of the CCP living in the United States.
According to the Washington Post:
He has been in discussions with the Justice Department and could ultimately reach a plea deal, they said.
The case has intensified in recent weeks, with prosecutors securing a guilty plea Monday from one of Broidy’s business associates, Nickie Mali Lum Davis, who admitted to taking part in what prosecutors have described in charging documents as a “back-channel lobbying campaign” to end the Malaysian corruption investigation and to return Chinese exile Guo Wengui to his home country.
Guo is a vocal online critic of the Chinese government who was once allied with that country’s government elite but is now wanted by authorities in Beijing on charges of fraud, blackmail and bribery. He has denied those charges and said they are politically motivated.
Since Broidy inserted himself into the internal machinations of the Republican Party by donating $300,000 to President George W. Bush after the September 11 terrorist attacks, then raising $1 million for President Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, he has served on the Board of Directors at the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Homeland Security Secretary in the Bush administration, and from 2006 to 2008, the finance chairman of the RNC.
However, Broidy’s role at the RNC appears to have ended at the same time he was under investigation in New York for public corruption and bribery. According to ProPublica, “In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty to a felony, admitting he’d given almost $1 million in gifts to top officials with New York state’s pension fund, who steered $250 million to Broidy’s investment firm.” However, “Broidy repaid $18 million to the state and he was allowed to change his plea to a misdemeanor because he cooperated in the bribery investigation.”
After President Trump’s upset victory in 2016, Broidy was again appointed to a role at the RNC, which he only lost after it was revealed he paid $1.6 million to buy the silence of a Playboy model in a settlement negotiated by disgraced lawyer Michael Cohen.
However, Broidy continued to use his perceived influence over the Trump administration to make money, according to the Justice Department. Only after being formally ejected from the Trump administration did Broidy allegedly begin taking millions from the Malaysian government in a failed attempt to end a corruption investigation, and then allegedly more money for attempting to return a Chinese dissident to the hands of the CCP. Additionally, leaked emails expose Broidy as an unregistered lobbyist for Saudi Arabia and other African, Asian, East European, and Russian interests that saw Broidy as the key to ending American investigations into their activities or giving them access to the America First presidency.
Despite spending nearly 20 years in Republican politics, it is unclear if Broidy was successful at selling his perceived influence over the Trump administration. It also remains unclear if Broidy is still accepted in the Bush-era circles he became deeply involved with.