Reporters just revealed another federal raid into a member of Trump’s inner circle

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A non-profit news agency just revealed that the FBI raided one of Trump’s top fundraisers, someone so close to the President that he was one of the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen’s three clients.

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Elliot Broidy is a New Yorker already convicted of political bribery a decade ago, and now stands at the heart of multiple criminal probes, including the one we now know sent agents to his office last summer.

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The former Trump fundraiser is at the heart of a slew of schemes that the federal government alleges they have probable cause to believe were criminal offenses committed all over the world — from China to Miami and from the Middle East to Washington, D.C.

ProPublica reports that they obtained a copy of the search warrant against Broidy, revealing that FBI agents were looking for evidence of money laundering, illegal unregistered foreign lobbying, and conspiracy against the United States — which is a catch-all charge whenever someone plots to defeat the normal functions of government oversight.  ProPublica reports:

A sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica shows federal agents scoured Elliott Broidy’s office for documents related to China, Saudi Arabia and a Miami Beach club promoter. The warrant, filed in July 2018, targeted Broidy’s office in Los Angeles. The scope of what authorities were seeking was broad.

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.

If Elliot Broidy is the target of a Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) investigation, which seems highly likely since he was lobbying Trump to get him to end the money laundering  investigation that ensnared the 1MDB fund, then he’s in more trouble than previous Americans who flaunted the act like Paul Manafort, Gen. Michael Flynn and Rick Gates.

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That is because former Special Council’s office veteran Brandon van Grack, who prosecuted and convicted all of the above mentioned Trump associates, just took over the Department of Justice’s FARA enforcement unit.

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The Washington Post was the first to report last year that Broidy’s activities were under investigation by the DOJ, but the newly revealed search warrant is key to learning the length and breadth of the investigation.

Late last week, Trump’s convicted former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and Special Counsel Mueller’s team asked to delay his sentencing as a cooperating witness because he was still cooperating in multiple investigations, which we now know includes this one.

Last November, Elliot Broidy was also named in indictments of a Malaysian financier with government ties in the 1MDB scandal as Individual-1. But it was his earlier hush money payoff to a former Playboy Playmate assisted by Cohen, which led to his resignation as the Republican National Committee’s deputy finance chair in April 2018.

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It turns out that Broidy’s ties to Malaysia also entangled a musical star, according to ProPublica:

Pras Michel, a member of the hip-hop group The Fugees and an associate of Low’s, funnelled the money to pay Broidy into the United States, the Justice Department alleged.

Asked about the Broidy search warrant, a lawyer for Michel, Barry Pollack, said: “There has been news of this Broidy investigation for many months. Mr. Michel has not been charged with any wrongdoing whatsoever related to Mr. Broidy or anyone else.”

The warrant also gave the feds access to information about Broidy’s numerous contracts with the United Arab Emirates for his security firm, which led to his entanglement with one of Special a Counsel Mueller’s cooperating witnesses, George Nader.

The latest news means that like Cohen before him, yet another former Deputy RNC finance chair’s personal records could lead federal investigators to new investigations that we aren’t even privy to yet, such as the former Trump lawyer’s tapes causing an investigation of the inaugural committee.

Donald Trump’s fateful decision to get close to Elliot Broidy, a convicted felon, has apparently opened up yet another Pandora’s box of federal investigations inside his camp.

Original reporting by Robert Faturechi and Justin Elliott at ProPublica.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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