It's a Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen raid situation all over again, only this time it's a top fundraiser for Trump and the Republican National Committee, Elliott Broidy, and we're learning about it after the fact. ProPublica obtained a sealed search warrant from last summer that allowed federal investigators to raid Broidy's offices in pursuit of documents related to his work with foreign officials and Trump associates. It must have been urgent.
Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans.
In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty in a massive bribery scandal involving New York state public officials. Last year, the former RNC national deputy finance chair made headlines when he resigned his position after reports surfaced that he was making payments in a $1.6 million hush money deal with a former Playboy model with whom he had an affair. But that little indiscretion appears to have little to do with the raid.
The search warrant centered on three areas of grift: conspiracy, money laundering, and illegal lobbying for foreign officials. The warrant also connected Broidy to Trump's former deputy campaign manager and transition team official, Rick Gates, and it placed Broidy amid a web of people potentially involved in illicit activity.
They planned to seize any evidence related to a list of dozens of people, countries and corporate entities, according to the warrant. Among the names on the list are Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign official who has pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe; Colfax Law Office, the firm founded by Robin Rosenzweig, Broidy’s wife; and several foreign countries.
The search warrant also connects Broidy to Malaysian financier Jho Low, who has been federally indicted and is accused of attempting to bilk billions from a state fund known as 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB. Federal prosecutors are reportedly examining whether Low made an illegal donation through intermediaries to the 2020 fundraising committee Trump Victory—because it's never too soon to inject some illegality into the next election.
Broidy is also suspected of being "Individual 1" in another filing last year in which that person was compensated for allegedly trying to get Trump administration officials to back off an inquiry into Low. But it doesn't end there, folks. Federal authorities were also seeking records in Broidy’s office related to the United Arab Emirates, UAE adviser George Nader, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and any travel to the Middle East.
Remember George Nader, the unofficial UAE conduit who took part in the secret Seychelles meeting and was detained for questioning by federal officials last year at Dulles International Airport? Nader reportedly tried to lure Broidy with a lucrative deal for his private security firm if he lobbied Trump officials on behalf of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Nader has reportedly been cooperating with federal officials in the probe.
Sounds like Broidy's in a massive heap of trouble.