A federal court filing in Los Angeles claims that agents of the nation of Qatar gave a payoff to convicted former Trump NSA, Gen. Michael Flynn, and also that he had accepted those payments. (see below) A Qatari spy ring with at least two individuals operating in America as unregistered foreign agents of their highly controversial government stands accused of defamation in the federal lawsuit seeking $1.2 billion in damages.
A former Qatari General Consul let potentially serious information about Flynn slip while forcefully soliciting an American businessman’s help in obtaining contact with his former business colleague Steve Bannon, after the book Fire and Fury came out and the Mercer family fired him from Breitbart, cutting ties. Qatar Investments Director Ahmed al Rumaihi offered to bankroll Bannon’s American political websites and influence operations with his funds from, running an internal division of the Qatar Investment Authority.
If General Flynn took payments from Qatar – because he’s a former military officer – it could be a violation of the foreign emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Depending on the timing of any payments to Flynn, it could represent something else far more sinister, or even prove to be a link to the Trump Russia dossier, which outlined a giant Russian oil privatization scheme in which the QIA division purchased nearly 20% of the state-run oil company Rosneft.
Al-Hamadi says that he traveled to America on a B-1 business tourist visa representing the QIA division without diplomatic credentials. He should probably have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for engaging in political action in America.
However, Mr. Al-Hamadi’s statements about General Flynn raise two even greater questions than just a failure to register; has Flynn been a secret Qatari agent and if so, has he got paid for doing so?
Trump’s convicted former National Security Advisor was extremely active in the Middle East the year before he joined the Trump campaign, personally traveling the region to push a pie-in-the-sky US-Saudi-Russian Nuclear deal and himself becoming an unregistered agent of a Turkish principal, which he admitted in his statement of offense.
Both of those countries are on the opposite side of the Syrian War from Qatar, who funded an offshoot of ISIS called the Nusra Front.
Qatari Consul Ahmed al Rumaihi initiated an influence operation when invested into the Big3 Basketball league co-founded by Jeff Kwatinetz in his role as a Director of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), then pressed him to convince Bannon to let the nation of Qatar ‘underwrite’ his American political activities.
The Big3 basketball league is headquartered in Los Angeles and co-owned by world-renowned entertainer Ice Cube along with Jeff Kwatinetz (but Bannon is 100% uninvolved) which just completed its first season last year.
The basketball league unwittingly got entangled with a group of Qatari nationals who approached them as sponsors and minority investors. But they never paid, leading to a state-level arbitration case, and subsequently major federal defamation lawsuit when Qatari General Consul Ahmed al Rumaihi and his partner Ayman Sabi manufactured a public relations crisis aimed at destabilizing the organization.
Little did Jeff Kwatinetz know that just three weeks before he was approached by the Qatari General Consul, Al-Hamadi had spent $2.5 million to hire former Republican Attorney General John Ashcroft, who registered under FARA as an agent of the QIA representative.
John Ashcroft contracted to use his FBI, Homeland Security and intelligence connections in the service of his foreign principal, Al-Hamadi, which apparently led the Qatari to seek Kwatinetz’s help as an agent of influence.
The Qatari agent then proceeded to use his country’s sponsorship with and (incompletely funded) minority ownership stake in the Big3 basketball league as a political influence operation to benefit the government of Qatar and its international image during a period of regional conflict.
Foreign Agents Registration Act violations are a criminal offense punishable by up to five years imprisonment. Persons who take political action on behalf of a foreign principal – like a corporation, government or political party – must register with the Department of Justice.
For example, Paul Manafort is facing criminal charges for failure to register, cooperator Rick Gates faced those same charges, which led him to enter a plea bargain, and Gen. Mike Flynn faced the prospect of charges for failure to register under FARA, but Trump’s former National Security Advisor cut a deal with prosecutors before any indictments landed.
Both Al-Rumaihi and Sabi acted to advance the interests of Qatar, the former as an agent of their investment fund and the latter at the direction of the former. Neither of the men registered with the Department of Justice under FARA.
Qatar has ramped up its lobbying efforts dramatically ever since the UAE and Saudi Arabia declared a blockade against the peninsular country of 300,000 residents. The gas-rich nation owns more property in London than the Queen of England and they reportedly collected kompromat on Jared Kushner in retaliation activities and relationship to Saudi’s crown prince.
President Trump recently met with the Emir of Qatar and reversed his position on them 180 degrees calling them a good ally – they are, after all, the host of the largest American military base in the Middle East – after the emirate hired Trump-connected, Florida-based Ballard Partners as a lobbyist.
America’s foreign agent registration requirements have been comically flaunted for years, but even still managed to ensnare a Congressman in 2010 and an employee of the Russian bank whose CEO met Trump’s son-in-law during the transition period. Over 60% of registrants under the act are late.
If Qatar did payoff General Flynn, there could be vast national security implications, and it could jeopardize his cooperation agreement with Special Counsel Mueller.
Read the complete sworn declaration where a Qatari agent’s admission might entangle General Flynn for newly uncovered foreign payments:
A federal court filing in Los Angeles claims that agents of the nation of Qatar gave a payoff to convicted former Trump NSA, Gen. Michael Flynn, and also he had accepted those payments.
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) May 11, 2018
EDITOR’S NOTE: THERE HAS BEEN A CLARIFICATION MADE TO NOTE THAT AHMED AL-RUMAIHI IS THE DIRECTOR OF QATAR INVESTMENTS WHICH IS AN INTERNAL DIVISION OF QATAR INVESTMENT AUTHORITY AND THAT HE IS NO LONGER A DIPLOMATIC CONSUL OF QATAR.