There have been two characters which I have blogged about in the past and who have come under the purview of the FBI’s Trump-Russian probe being led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. These players are George Nader, as an adviser to the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates )UAE, and Elliott Broidy, a present day national deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and who owns a company with hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both these gentlemen have associations with UAE, Russian moneymen and the Trump family. And not surprisingly, both have very shady backgrounds. According to several news reports, Mr. Nader is now a witness for the prosecution, the FBI in its Trump-Russia probe.
Mr. Nader’s value to Mr. Mueller has to do with a January 2017 Seychelles meeting where Mr. Nader was present along with President Trump’s associate, Erik Prince, and Kirill Dmitriev, who manages a Russian sovereign wealth fund and is thought to be close to Vladimir Putin. Also present was the defacto leader of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan who had previously done business with Erik Prince.
Here’s the rest of the story…
As per the 3/8/18 Atlantic report, A political operative who frequented the White House in the early days of President Trump’s administration, George Nader, was indicted in 1985 on charges of importing to the United States obscene material, including photos of nude boys “engaged in a variety of sexual acts,” according to publicly available court records. Nader pleaded not guilty, and the charges against him were ultimately dismissed several months after evidence seized from Nader’s home was thrown out on procedural grounds. “Mr. Nader vigorously denies the allegations now, as he did then,” a lawyer representing Nader said.”
“Nevertheless, the indictment raises questions about what the White House knew, if anything, about Nader’s past while senior officials were meeting with him. The Trump administration is already under fire for failures to vet members of the president’s inner circle. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nader’s name has surfaced in recent days with reports that he is a cooperating witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation.”
As per a 3/3/18 New York Times report, “The examination of the U.A.E. comes amid a flurry of recent activity by Mr. Mueller.”
“In one example of Mr. Nader’s influential connections, which has not been previously reported, last fall he received a detailed report from a top Trump fund-raiser, Elliott Broidy, about a private meeting with the president in the Oval Office.”
“Mr. Broidy owns a private security company with hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts with the United Arab Emirates, and he extolled to Mr. Trump about a paramilitary force that his company was developing for the country. He also lobbied the president to meet privately “in an informal setting” with the Emirates’ military commander and de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan; to back the U.A.E.’s hawkish policies in the region; and to fire Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.”
“A copy of Mr. Broidy’s memorandum about the meeting was provided to The New York Times by someone critical of the Emirati influence in Washington.”
On March 8,2018, Will Thorne and Will Jordan of Al Jazzera penned the following report, “Trump donor Elliott Broidy named in Ukraine criminal probe” (“Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy under scrutiny over alleged deal with sanctioned Russian bank VTB.”)
The Prosecutor General of Ukraine has launched an investigation into claims surrounding an alleged multi-million dollar lobbying contract that names one of US President Donald Trump’s most influential fundraisers, Elliott Broidy.
The 12-page document, which appears to have been signed by Broidy, outlines his role as providing “political advocacy” on behalf of a now sanctioned Russian bank, VTB.
The deal was apparently dated June 12, 2014, just weeks before VTB Bank was blacklisted by the United States and European Union as a key Kremlin asset following Russia’s invasion of Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin is guest of honour at VTB Bank’s investor conference every year.
“The document raises serious questions about whether Broidy is in breach of the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a law that has gained prominence following the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller into foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his aide Rick Gates have both been charged as a result of their work in Ukraine.”
“The document, obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, also suggests that Broidy, a national deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, would provide the same services to Investment Capital Ukraine (ICU), a Ukraine brokerage that has acted as financial advisors to President Petro Poroshenko.”
“If this is a bonafide document, it is very troubling,” says the Washington-based organisation Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
“Broidy appears to be an unregistered agent of a foreign principal in violation of federal law,” says spokesman Jordan Libowitz.
|The document obtained by Al Jazeera raises questions about whether Broidy is in breach of the US Foreign Agents Registration Act [Al Jazeera]|
“US law requires American citizens involved in lobbying on behalf of foreign governments or parties to register with the US Department of Justice on their Foreign Registered Agents (FARA) database. Al Jazeera found no evidence that Broidy is registered despite mounting evidence of multiple foreign clients.”
“Details of the alleged consultancy first emerged in Ukraine in January. The files were handed to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, who has ordered the Kiev Prosecutor’s office to investigate further.”
Ukraine’s Institute of Law and Society submitted the documents to authorities, and the reform group is now calling for a thorough investigation in both Ukraine and the US.
The document outlines the work to be undertaken by Broidy, which includes “regular political and business analysis, political advocacy, investment advice, and money management” to VTB Bank and ICU.
|Russian President Vladimir Putin is a regular guest of honour at the annual investor conference of VTB Bank, whose chairman is Yuri Soloviev [File: EPA]|
The consultancy work was apparently to be paid in five annual payments of $2.5m from an offshore company, Quillas Equities SA, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands, but with an address in Dubai. According to the Panama Papers, a massive leak of offshore documentation, Quillas Equities SA’s shareholder is Yuri Soloviev, chairman of VTB Bank.
The document names Broidy as a consultant who has “many years of investment banking and money management experience.” It goes on to detail his “expertise in international investments and American politics.”
The alleged agreement outlines Broidy’s background in Republican politics, describing how he served “as Finance Chair of the Republican Party and has access to US politicians and government agencies.”
The business and lobbying activities of this prominent Republican are coming under increasing scrutiny beyond Ukraine.
“Last week a group calling itself LA Confidential leaked emails that appeared to show Broidy and his wife Robin Rosenzweig, deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee, asking for more than $75m to quash an investigation in the US into a multibillion-dollar fraud in Malaysia.”
“Further revelations came from The New York Times, which reported that Broidy has a lucrative defence contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and that he had lobbied President Trump to meet privately with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the leader of the UAE. The emails suggest he has direct access to the US President.”
“Romanian media have also reported Broidy’s role in negotiating arms deals worth potentially millions of dollars.”
“In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty in New York to bribing New York state pension officials with almost $1m in return for their $250m investment in an Israel-focused investment fund he helped to manage.”
“He and the firm paid over $30m in fines; however, the charges against Broidy were downgraded, and he avoided jail.”
“Now, Broidy claims he is the victim of a “hack” and smear campaign orchestrated by the state of Qatar in response to his criticism of the Gulf state’s record against terrorism, a charge that Qatar denies.”
“Amid long-standing regional rivalries, the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, has imposed a nine-month-long siege on Qatar. Broidy has close financial ties to the UAE and its royal family.”
“A second document appears to expose further connections with the UAE. It outlines a plan for ICU and an Abu Dhabi based company to invest $40m into a fund to be managed by Broidy. The same group also handed what is described as a “Confidential Memorandum of Understanding” to prosecutors in Ukraine.”
“The Abu Dhabi firm and ICU apparently agreed to provide 80 percent of the investment, including an initial $3.5m payment.”
“It is unclear as to what the $40m was to be used for. This alleged MOU states that the deal was effective from December 2014, but omits specific details on how the money would be invested. It is also not clear if it was ever completed as the paperwork is unsigned.”
|This alleged MOU states that the deal was effective from December 2014, but omits specific details on how the money would be invested [Al Jazeera]|
“Broidy owns a security company, which is run by former US military personnel and provides services to governments in the Middle East. Its services include conducting “specialised operations, infrastructure protection and training.”
“Broidy, a Los Angeles-based financier and seasoned political operator, has raised millions of dollars in donations for the Republican Party. He is tipped to be a key part of Trump’s campaign team for 2020.”