Another layer of the matryoshka nesting doll that is the Trump-Russia scandal was revealed today. In an act of corruption stunning in its brazenness, a top fundraiser for Donald Trump offered to help an energy lawyer in Moscow lift sanctions on certain Russian companies, reports Bloomberg.
Removing the sanctions levied on the Russian Federation in the wake of their naked expansionist invasion of Crimea in Ukraine has been one of Putin’s major geopolitical goals. The sanctions have deeply weakened his nation’s teetering petroeconomy.
Elliot Broidy, Deputy Finance Chairman for Republican National Committee, admitted to Bloomberg that he sent a plan to Andrei Baev of at Chadbourne & Parke LLP explaining how he intended to influence the sanctions. Broidy previously served as Vice Chairman of Trump’s joint fundraising committee
He sent the plan shortly before Trump’s inauguration but claims he never implemented what he outlined. Baev also confirmed the story to Bloomberg. The exchange was originally precipitated by the Russian attorney reaching out to the Deputy Finance Chair.
Broidy told Bloomberg:
“From the beginning I made it clear that while I would consider trying to help the firm build a team and to put them in touch with some experts, I am not a lobbyist and didn’t plan on becoming one.”
“I also made clear from the beginning that any arrangement we reached would need to be in full compliance with U.S. law. We never made any agreement, and the project never went anywhere. I never contacted any U.S. officials on behalf of Chadbourne or its clients and never had any contact with Chadbourne’s clients.”
Despite Broidy’s insistence that the deal was above board, the entire affair is disturbing and offers a glimpse into the manner in which people within Trump’s close orbit were actively working with the Russian Federation. It seems likely that incidents like this are but the tip of the iceberg. One can’t help but imagine what kind of backroom deals were being made that Trump team members aren’t admitting to. Hopefully, special counsel Robert Mueller discovers the full truth soon and reveals it to the American people.