How a Trump Ally Tested the Boundaries of Washington’s Influence Game

Amid a federal investigation, new details show the scope of Elliott Broidy’s efforts to promote the causes of foreign clients as he sought to profit from them.

Comments: 182

  1. He is another swamp creature. It never ends. The swamp gets swampier.

  2. The more we learn about the Trump administration, the swampier it appears.

  3. What's the problem here? A grifter's gotta grift, doesn't he? And, furthermore, what better time to do so than when in the presence of the newly appointed Grifter in Chief? Talk about the ideal audience. I can see it perfectly. I'm sure Trump must have stopped Broidy at some point and told him. "Broidy, you had me at hello. Now that you know I'm on board, what can your clients the Saudis and the Emiratis do for my little girl Ivanka? We don't need much, just a little taste."

  4. Is there no end to it? The unwearying venality and corruption, joined to the unvarying incompetence ... Another day, another bazillionaire scandal. The only upside is a better understanding of Trump's foreign policy, especially as regards the Middle East.

  5. Swampy.

  6. Trump ally tested the boundaries of Washington influence game. Then the article goes on to basically describe another crook. Good detail, in depth and hopefully scares off some politicians that are looking for some backroom deal to resupply their coffers. No hope for the President though, his life is a pyramid built upon greed, fast talking lawyers, and more greed.

  7. Written in the Times' first paragraph of this article: Elliott Broidy had the kind of past that might have given a more traditional White House reason to keep him at a distance: A wealthy businessman, he had pleaded guilty in 2009 to giving nearly $1 million in illegal gifts to New York State officials to help land a $250 million investment from the state’s pension fund. Please, Kenneth Vogel, why are you using the word "traditional" when the sentence you wrote clearly required the word "ethical"? Since when is "traditional" a euphemism for "ethical"?

  8. @AA Exactly correct. The right-wing has been phenomenally successful at intimidating media sources into soft-soaping language and using false equivalencies even in the face of the most dishonest, incompetent Administration in our history.

  9. @Pat Or, perhaps, "any normal White House" would have kept him at a distance. Or even "any other White House" would have kept him at a distance. I know of no other president so comfortable with criminality. We must do what we can to avoid normalizing this behavior.

  10. @AA 'Traditional' and 'ethical' are merely interchangeable terms when money is the soap washing clean the filth. Access to funding keeps Trump's façade shining for the faithful. Once you've drank this administration's Kool-Aid then ends justify means, you learn to shout down skeptics and a money shined façade is all that's needed to shroud a very deep abyss.

  11. Barr needs to recuse himself from any oversight involving investigations connected to Trump as his goal is to always protect Trump at all costs. Barr has said Trump can stop any investigation into himself he wants and that Justice Dept cannot indict Trump therefore he should never be investigated. This seems to point to Barr appointing Trump as our dictator and Barr was sent in by the GOP to protect Trump and insure the oligarchs are protected from investigations and insure tax cuts for the rich and powerful .

  12. All the more interesting that it was Qatar that came to Jared K's financial rescue with his big loan coming due...

  13. A FELON by his OWN admission (having plead guilty to felony charge in 2009!), who's now acting to further the interests of the Saudis and the UAE as an unregistered "foreign agent"? How much more corrupt can he get? Another creature from the black lagoon swamp of corruption surrounding anything and everything connected to Trump!

  14. Barr is in charge of DOJ; Broidy may re think his stay in America after the Epstein incident.

  15. "Think tanks" for rent...

  16. Trump, his family, his administration, and everyone in their orbit is compromised (and that's being polite). The list of names and their boundless opportunism is dizzying. How much filth can these people have their greedy fingers in? The only comforting info in this piece is that not all of Broidy's plans came to fruition. But that doesn't change the fact that everyone is bought and sold many times over, and (even though I'm not naive about how politics works) these people have no rightful place in government.

  17. @D Price There is a name for this - the spreading corruption that infects so much in our political and corporate: trumphoma, a malignancy in the body politic. Until it ends there appears now way to enforce accountability in our country.

  18. This administration is for sale. Bring your best offer, bring money, bring influence, bring branding and you have an in with these grifters and users. Tell them how you are going to make them money and make them (more) famous and (more) rich and improve their brand and they will love you and give you access. This current government is nothing but a sham farce for increasing the wealth of a few.

  19. No ethics No conscience No patriotism No rules Just cold cash, greed, self-dealing, profits....and a giant waving, hypnotizing, waving American flag sold to the highest domestic or international bidder. Trump-GOP 2019 Make The Swamp Great Again

  20. Another patriot leveraging contacts from a lifetime of privilege to steer the country toward conflict in order to enhance family wealth. Didn’t the President promise to drain the swamp? It is difficult to do when you yourself are a crocodile.

  21. @PMC. Please, snake. Crocs are classy.

  22. My conclusion after reading this article is that no American should be allowed to lobby for a foreign government. Those governments have embassies in D.C for that. This article mentions people several of whom have occupied high level positions in the US government ( Panneta, Gates, etc...) people who still have a security clearance and who are willing to work on behalf of a foreign government as long as the money is good. Mr. Mattis is now an adviser to the UAE government less than a year after resigning. It makes sense to me now why countries such as China , Russia always laugh at the US when they are labelled corrupt by successive US administrations. How is this not corruption at a higher level of government. From former officials accepting money to defend and influence US foreign policies to businessmen giving money to have access to decisions makers? Mr. Broidy had no reason to register as a foreign agent, for doing so would have limited his financial gains. Lobbying firms get paid usually far less than what Broidi was getting paid. Second, Broidy thanks to the businesses in those countries would have made 100 of millions if not Billions. This is just the tip of the iceberg. As I mentioned before, this administration will go down as the most corrupt in the history of the US. What we've learned is that decisions on US foreign policies are not made for the benefit of the US or the values It stands for, but for the benefits of a few well-connected people.

  23. @Chaks Whatever happened to the scandal with Deutsche Bank?

  24. Signs and symptoms that the Capitalist disease is now affecting all of the government machinery. The idea of America is now regressing to 'an idea'. We are becoming a Third World tin pot country and the GOPers, Mitch, Nancy are all holding the hats and coats of the enablers, the looters, the profiteers. Note the eminent Mr.Panetta in the list of names. Its good to see him get his comeuppance finally. He was one of those 'integrity' types in the Dem machine much like the corrupt Podesta brothers. It looks like we have gone past the tipping point. Time to move to either Canada or some other place from which to safely watch the slow decay of the great USA.

  25. I'm not sure it's going to be slow. Sigh.

  26. @Paul Art where there isn't global warming?

  27. I have post-it notes connected by strings on a wall the size of a billboard.

  28. @RonRich For some warped reason, this made me laugh. I had forgotten what that was like. Grateful for the lift.

  29. @RonRich I hope you have a large surplus.

  30. A great piece of well written and well researched investigative reporting by Kenneth Vogel, David Kirkpatrick and Declan Walsh. This is why I subscribe to the Times. In any other presidency this would be a major scandal. In a Clinton or Obama presidency the Republicans would be demanding senate hearings. We have become numb to the bribery and misuse of power and access to power in this administration. We now resemble some of the Angolan style countries in both the methods and manner of our actions. Please turn your attention to Jared Kushner and Qatar and follow the money.

  31. It’s great reporting but Rachel Maddow has been all over this for a couple of years. The only way to live with yourself as a Republican is to learn to disconnect the dots.

  32. @MartinC -- with Bill Barr in charge, I'm sure the Justice Department will get to the bottom of this. Have no fear!

  33. And nothing will be done. The fix is in. We'll never know.

  34. The other resigned co- chairman of Rep Nat finance committee is Steve Wynn. Another one cut from the same cloth as Broidy. Is not a pattern discernible ?Are smart people with Ethics , morals and Patriotism not able to be discriminating ?

  35. Well just imagine someone like William Barr investigating this. I’m glad we still have some semblance of a legal system. This is definitely a serious stress test. 6 more years of this and I’m not sure where we will be. I’m thankful that we had the Obama administration before this. This is hard to watch.

  36. @Bitter Mouse It's our country in full deconstruction /collapse. Beyond hard to watch. Plus, we have to wear Kevlar vests now when we go out.

  37. @Bitter Mouse - say another 9 months, tops. The felon's already under an impeachment inquiry. This isn't going to last much longer.

  38. @GWPDA. From your lips to Pelosi's ear.

  39. From his past, this man reeks of alleged improprieties. Can't believe our former elites of our military and and analogous civil agencies, allowed themselves to work for him. It will be interesting to see the ultimate outcome of his latest gambit. He's connived his way out of his prior endeavors.

  40. Interesting...weren't these NYS democrats that took the money? Always takes two to tango, doesn't it ?

  41. "He resigned as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee last year after it was revealed he had agreed to pay $1.6 million in hush money to a former Playboy model he impregnated, in a deal arranged by Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer." Nothing about that tale makes sense with Broidy as the protagonist, or with his wife as the injured spouse. Enquiring minds want to know how anyone but Trump would know Cohen was in the business of paying hush money for sexual silence, or how anyone but Trump would be having unprotected sex with strumpets.

  42. Forgive my ignorance, I’m, thankfully, not a lawyer...if there’s a law or three requiring Americans representing a foreign interest to register themselves with our government and they don’t register, are they not in clear violation of one or more laws? I knew things were slipping but, come on...

  43. @JRB Yes they are, but these laws are rarely if ever enforced. See for example, Podesta who has done the same thing for decades.

  44. @Viv Podesta is under indictment for violations of this law.

  45. I know the difficulty of attempting to remember scandal after scandal. But, early in the Trump presidency, I seem to remember Trump tweets disparaging Qatar and something about the Saudi/UAE blockade of Qatar being supported by the administration, in spite of the fact that the hub of our Middle East strategy is housed at a huge military outpost in Qatar. Doesn't that seem to demonstrate that there was a quid pro quo by Trump? Doesn't that demonstrate that Broidy was successful in his attempts to get the government to diss another ally? Trump also chose to make Saudi Arabia his first foreign visit. More things that make you go "hmmm..."

  46. "He resigned as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee last year after it was revealed he had agreed to pay $1.6 million in hush money to a former Playboy model he impregnated, in a deal arranged by Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer." Does his resignation mean that one bucket of the sleaze is taken out of "the swamp"? If so, we should all look forward seeing all those who used Michael Cohen to pay hush money to former models resign from their positions in order to dry the entire swamp. If the sign "A Promise Made, A Promise Kept" shows up in the 2020 presidential campaign, it must be carried by the sleaze of the swamp.

  47. Excellent article; well researched and extremely informative. Why Broidy was not given a cabinet appointment probably only resulted from Broidy believing it would interfere with his money making efforts. Thanks, Mr. Trump, for 'draining the swamp' and bringing guys like this in instead. The Trump Administration is leaving an indelible stain on the history of this nation.

  48. As I read this documentation and made the assumption that what it described was reasonably accurate, I was pondering what types of walls, made of what materials, and being of what dimensions, are needed to protect ALL of us from this enabled and even promoted, toxic political swamp and its personally unaccountable denizens? At what point in our formal schooling should children be given the necessary tools to effectively discern this expanding swamp? What are the options for making a difference which can make a needed, sustainable difference, for each of US, having read this article, to not just turn the page; read another article, or fold the paper and get involved in something else?

  49. Work to put media literacy courses in all high schools. Kids are smart. And teach them civics, too, so they know why it’s important to vote.

  50. As in all things Trump follow the money.

  51. AG Barr does not have the integrity it takes to competently investigate this. He's poisoned the Justice Department.

  52. Nothing will happen. There is no justice.

  53. Whatever happens, he'll get a pardon.

  54. As Trump might say, rules are for losers

  55. Trump continues to demonstrate a feebleness in the mind that is appalling for any kind of executive. He should be removed from office by any means necessary and as quickly as possible

  56. Don't forget about Jared and the loan he forced out of the Qataris to save his family's bad deal on an NYC building they could not pay for. I won't call it a shakedown......but

  57. @Skillman yes! The enormity of this corruption is mind-boggling.

  58. Oh the justice dept. is investigating, well we can all breath easier now. HA, HA. Living the good life in DC, we now live above the laws in the land of the free.

  59. Why had Broidy "agreed to pay $1.6 million in hush money to a former Playboy model he impregnated, in a deal arranged by Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer"? I recall reading that Broidy, who had always been faithful to his wife, took the hit for someone else who has not been identified. Hard to think of Broidy as "victim", but could be a blackmail aspect to the greed for power and money running rampant in government, esp., Trump world, not so distant from the sex trafficking and blackmail ring in which Epstein, et. al. has been involved. Can any of these people be held to account and pay for their crimes? Such avarice and evil! People with no humanity and no conscience.

  60. @E C Scherer I smell something very fishy here as well. Broidy is a nobody; who would care (other than his wife) if he had an affair with anyone? Especially care to the point that $1.6 million was needed to hide the affair.

  61. This investigation is DOA. With Barr in charge of the Justice Department, does anyone seriously believe a big money donner like Broidy will be brought down especially with an election year on the way? Trump will whisper in Barr's ear and presto, the investigation ends and it is business as usual for the Trump players. This investigation has just about as much validity as the one Barr is launching to find out if Mr. Epstein actually committed suicide.

  62. Didn’t Elliott Broidy take the fall as the boyfriend of a pregnant young woman even though everyone knows he has a strong marriage and doesn’t cheat on his wife? Remind me who he took the fall for again?

  63. One crook can be an exception to the rule. Two crooks, it’s a coincidence, three crooks is a mistake, but serial crooks is a culture.

  64. You can understand the appeal. This guy makes Our President look svelte.

  65. @Lorem Ipsum Thought the same thing. Central casting perfect for fatcat corrupt lobbyist. Looks like a caricature from the robber baron days of Thomas Nast and Boss Tweed.

  66. ".... Mr. Broidy enlisted a host of prominent figures to advance the interests of his companies, his clients or his causes. In addition to General McChrystal, there was the former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon; former defense secretaries including Robert M. Gates and Leon E. Panetta; David H. Petraeus, the former C.I.A. director; and the longtime diplomat Dennis B. Ross." Isn't that interesting that almost all individuals listed here are among those who were appearing on news programs, arguing in favor of US military attack on Iran?

  67. Lots of figures, amounting to real money. Sure it goes back further, but its hard not to think of Truman's atomic deployment as the gift that keeps giving. US arms is the answer to developing peaceful relations with area neighbors, evidently. Tulsi Gabbard more than anyone identifies getting out of these wars as issue number one. I'm sitting in the sweet spot right now, compared to much of the world; don't know where I'd rather be. I'm a little ashamed about what it has taken to bring that about. Seems like the big religions often boil down to one thing. Be kind.

  68. Small detail - Can we replace "think tank" with PR firm? Nobody gets paid just to think.

  69. Mr. Trump promised to drain the swamp. Instead he turned it into an ocean.

  70. Not surprised about Broidy but somewhat taken aback by Gates and Panetta’s connection. mccrystal and petraeus are known liars — remember Pat Tillman and how they lied to his mother, the media and the public at large about how he died? So no surprise they wish to take money from such a horribly unethical Broidy. When will public service be filled with honorable people whose love of country? Elizabeth Warren is the hope. She has courage, a backbone of steel and will drain the swamp fir sure.

  71. Ah. Mr. Cohen's other client. An absolute peach of a fellow.

  72. Let me save some research time for all those MAGA hat wearers who bray at every word out of the stable genius' mouth. You will not find one name in the trump admin who is fighting for you, or wheeling and dealing for your interests. Not one.

  73. @RNS - WHY don't they understand that?!

  74. @vishmael...That is the question of the hour...After this much time there's really no other explanation other than ..Fox News is just as good if not better at promoting propaganda and distorting the truth and swaying American Voters as the Russians ! Of course the GOP and Barr's teisting of the Truth and outright lies are to blame as well.The mass hypnosis has worked! Oh if we could just get them to wake from their delusion with a snap of our fingers. On the other hand the Majority has become ruled by the minority in our Country !! Too many don't Vote...young and old alike. The Voter turnout is rarely fantastic!! Democracy is meant to be the Majority rule over the minority...Can't happen if we don't Vote or if the Voting is diluted among too many candidate choices.

  75. @RNS, the two people I know personally who voted for the Gutter Rat, my wife's younger brother and her BFF, did so for a little more money in their pockets of which it has succeeded. And I too will be okay after the nightmare is over, it is the 50 million or so poorer people I am worried about.

  76. This reads like an over-the-top subplot on VEEP.

  77. My thanks to Mr. Vogel for a very informative article. Unfortunately, I was forced to stop reading it when I came to the sentence that called Mr. Broidy a "pillar of Los Angeles’s Jewish community." Some "pillars" I just don't want to know about.

  78. Remember when Obama punished McChrystal for going on he record to undermine his authority as Commander-in-Chief? Obama was as strong as Trump is weak.

  79. Another day, another trump-related scandal. Or rather, another hour, another so on and so forth....

  80. Wait, is that the same Elliott Broidy that was the deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee until it was disclosed he impregnated a former Playboy playmate, Shera Bechard, who he paid $1.6 million to stay silent about the sexual affair? Nah, that would not be possible; Trump only hires the best people.

  81. @mjc I believe she was paid to stay quiet after the affair, not during it.

  82. @mj More like he only hires people just like himself.

  83. Yes and didn’t anyone find it odd that the kind of man who agrees to pay 1.5 million for a woman to have an abortion (& then failed to pay) admitted everything and stood down from his position the very same day it was reported on? And wasn’t it the same day there was another story about Trump with another woman whom a doorman claimed he got 30,000 from the Enquirer to “catch and kill” a story about Trump getting a domestic employee pregnant? It was all around the time of Stormy Daniels. I remember thinking at the time it sounded more likely to have been Trumps work

  84. So it’s only a “swamp” when it’s a Democratic administration. Got it.

  85. @SN: it is a sewer now.

  86. Last Democratic Administration had about zero ethics scandals.

  87. @SN Ironically, Trump's hardcore followers spout inane conspiracy theories about liberal "elites" in Washington, when in reality, trump & his associates, as well as the Republican lackeys who protect him, are as elitist as they come. Along with the Trump family, they are the very same "swamp" dwellers that trump conned his voters into thinking he'd "drain" out of Washington. Vote in 2020.

  88. Hollywood can start making good movies mich material from these crooks and their network with white house!

  89. New York. Is Trump the best you could do?

  90. I'm from NY. We didn't want him.

  91. @Michael They didn't vote for him. They knew what he was like.

  92. After reading this detailed litany of Broidy's exploits — including payoff for an abortion — and the army of unsavory characters he's cavorted with over the years, a shower is in order. How greedy do you have to be to go through life like The Creature in the Black Lagoon? And his wife is still with him after the abortion payoff? She must have some good dirt on her husband.

  93. What no mention of his pay-offs to a former Playmate he impregnated?

  94. Or may have been covering for the occupant of The White House.

  95. What an unsavory parade of lowlives in this article busily claiming the fortunes they got paid and the agenda of those who paid them had absolutely nothing to do with the causes they promoted with senior administration figures. It’s a bit like the guy I paid to paint my house claiming his decision to paint my house was in no way prompted by my payment. Either these swamp creatures and their lawyers think we are all stupid, or they are confident that the laws are so weakly enforced they can openly flout them.

  96. "Lock him up" seems appt for this fellow. The Malaysia angle is especially sordid, if reports are accurate. He reportedly tried to intervene on behalf of Jo Low, the so-called financier behind a multi-billion dollar swindle of the Malaysian people. . Good reporting, thank you.

  97. After reading the article, one can well conclude that Trump’s claim to drain the swamp really means he revels in adding more sewage of corruption. Given how Trump and Kushner conspired with Brody to backstab Qatar, no wonder MBS had no fear of consequences of having Khashoggi chopped up.

  98. Another hog at the trough

  99. “Trump Ally” The rest of what will happen is obvious.

  100. All one has to do is look at the photo of this gem and realize he could be bad news.

  101. You can no longer say "The Justice Department is investigating ... " You now have to say "Barr's Justice Department is investigating ... " And everyone knows how Fair And Balanced, a Barr Investigation will be.

  102. @John Doe They're investigating all right. They're investigating to see if there might be any potential political fallout for trump.

  103. Trump is lord of the flies indeed.

  104. While reading this column, I wondered yet again why on earth so many Americans are willing to commit treason against their own country on behalf of foreign entities. I wonder if it really could be as simple as greed. Or perhaps these are all seven deadly sins we're seeing, made manifest in human form, signs of the apocalypse to come. Maybe I'm just being silly.

  105. I need a shower So many Trump patriotic pals selling out to foreign interests over the USA Disgusting

  106. @gadlighted, You might want to to some research on Paul Singer

  107. I suggest that everyone reading this article also check on which members of Congress also receive “advice” from lobbyists representing foreign governments. You would be both astounded and disillusioned to know that many of both parties eagerly meet with them. Anyone who contributes or arranges contributions to any congressional representative is their “ally”.

  108. Whatever you do, don't give us any evidence to support your insinuation.

  109. Deny, deny, deny. A simple and surprisingly effective strategy, regardless of overwhelming evidence. Sickening.

  110. @es UM Well yes he might be taking advantage of foreign people to show how low this American President and Republican Congress will go but why blame Foreign Agents?

  111. @Just Me. I don't blame the foreign agents. They're just taking advantage of the corruption we have on offer.

  112. "Tested the boundaries"? The guy is a foreign agent.

  113. This is how Trump was going to drain the swamp. Instead of draining it, he made it bigger, deeper, muddier and stocked it with more alligators and poisonous snakes

  114. More repulsive news from The Swamp. I'm beginning to think money really is the root of all evil.

  115. I'm sure the Barr DOJ will conduct a thorough, impartial investigation & ensure Broidy will suffer the consequences if he's broken the law. That's called sarcasm, kids.

  116. After a while one can't read any more of the sleaze and corruption in this administration. Our America doth go through waves of nausea at the stench of it all.

  117. Trump is remaking America in his image: Small-minded, Corrupt and Brutal

  118. @Savvy his just socialising it. Its always been like this.

  119. @Savvy I just can't believe that the Trump Republicans in the senate don't talk among themselves about their machinations to profit Trump. How long do we have to wait until some Republicans reveal all they know about Trump's double dealing? If they actually believe all things Trump, then this is the world's greatest brainwashing case ever. However, I'd really like to hear it from the horse's mouth.

  120. @sheila - "How long do we have to wait until some Republicans reveal all they know about Trump's double dealing?" Those Republicans who "know about Trump's double dealing" and talk about it with others are immediately forced to resign. The real question is what kind of intimidation or blackmail is used by Trump and his people in order to coerce these Republicans to quit so quickly and, for all practical purposes, to shut up!

  121. This man is another low life among the many low life acquaintenances of Trump. He had an affair with a young beautiful Playboy bunny type and got her pregnant. He made a financial deal to buy her silence (orchestrated by Michael Cohn). He agreed to pay her several million and then reneged on it. He did not have that kind of loose change. She then went public with the gorey details. It is hard to feel sorry for the woman since she was with him for the money, definitely not for his looks!! Disgusting people who frequent the Trump WH.

  122. @pb This group of trump associates make up a cesspool of sordid scandals. No other administration would've gotten away with Trump's level of corruption. Unfortunately, the GOP is happy to turn a blind eye to it all. Trump's Republican lackeys (i.e. Barr, McConnell, etc) will go out of their way to protect and enable trump, no matter how low he sinks. Vote out Trump and exorcise his Republican demons from the House and Senate in 2020. Every one of them.

  123. If birds of a feather stick together, the aviary for these guys, 45, Epstein, everyone who joined Epstein in abusing young girls, MBS,....well it is as crowded for these " birds" as for asylum seekers in our southwestern detention centers.

  124. I’m not surprised that these things happen with our current White House occupants. I’m simply saddened that the MAGA voters think that America is not worthy of better.

  125. Just a normal day in this free nation, a rich businessman waking into the our White House and giving the president foreign policy ideas. How much longer can we tolerate this, mentally or spiritually as a people? We are drained. Can we at least have No Trump News Tuesdays. And Thursdays?

  126. Good Summary. Interesting to the last word. I think the activities you are reporting confirms for most Americans that this Administration checked ethics at the door. These described activities also confirm that the Trump administration has not made progress in draining the swamp that he promised during his campaign. My impression is that the Administration's favorite lobbyists are directing the formation of policies that only benefit the immediate close circle of friends that are there only to enrich themselves. This ethics profile of the President's friends also fits the recent comment by the Mr. Scaramucci. It is a sad tale. We must try to correct in 2020.

  127. If you read the whole thing, this grifter was active in the GWB administration as well.

  128. 1) Broidy's lawyers deny everything. 2) Broidy's associates deny everything. 3) What about Marc Rich? Huh? 4) You can't trust a country where a Q is not followed by a U. 4) Once again, the failing New York Times shows an unseemly bias towards the truth.

  129. This is not a historical piece. This is current events. I see an emerging pattern where supporters of this president and those around him like to equivocate. As if it will remove all the wrong/bad things a person has done, just because someone else did something else...

  130. @anemone Once again, a trump apologist shows an unseemly bias towards the truth, especially if it sheds light on the greed and corruption of trump and his associates.

  131. Enlighten me on how a man doing work that promotes US interests is wrong. Broidy supports Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who are moderate Arab countries that contribute to the ever needed normalization in the Middle East. They share US views and values as opposed to Qatar who supports extremism, terror and let’s not forget - is Iran’s ally. As far as I’m concerned, Broidy’s work should be praised not slandered.

  132. But how do you feel about the way he went about it? The ends justify the means (corruption/self dealing )?

  133. @Cy Firstly, the corruption claims appear pretty weak and the court will have its say. Secondly, the article feels like its promoting an anti-republican political agenda on the one hand, and a very supportive tone towards Qatar on the other hand, which raises the question – who is behind this article that seems like its politically driven.

  134. @Paul So because you believe that Broidy is furthering US interests (a rationale that's debatable and not entirely accurate), he should be held above the law? Would you be defending Broidy if his exploits were tied to Obama's administration? I doubt it.

  135. What are these retired big shots doing? If someone offers you $100K to talk for 50 minutes, what do you think they are paying you for? Your entertainment value? I’d like to see a law passed that former presidents and congress persons cannot accept paid speaking engagements. If you really believe in some cause, you shouldn’t need $100K/hour to voice your support for it. I don’t care if all the funds go to some charity or nonprofit. Use your own money for that.

  136. A felony conviction (reduced to a misdemeanor); pays his way out of a jail cell....well, just because our Justice-For-Some legal system, says so. Fast forward to 2019, the question becomes, "Is he or isn't he" an unregistered foreign agent? In-the-mean-time former Obama White House lawyer Greg Craig has gotten the Trump Justice Department's eye and headed to trial over essentially the same thing. I no longer have any faith or respect for the rule of law; what's the point?

  137. Unlike most of the people who have profited from the Trump administration, I hope he faces justice and swift punishment. He will probably get off scot free like the rest of his gang.

  138. He’s an associate of trump. What more proof does one need that he is corrupt?

  139. Take a shower is right. It's hard to live in a world where the people in power have absolutely no morality. Kind of puts the rest of us at a disadvantage. (Belief in an afterlife, anyone?). Just ew.

  140. Kenneth Vogel provides the reader a guided tour through the Washington swamp, where money talks and nobody cares very much where the money actually came from. Elliott Broidy and his wife sound like a couple made for each other -- and made for doing business with the administration of Donald Trump. This article mentions a lot of familiar names, including those of retirees from the Pentagon and Langley, all of whom have found that Washington is one very large, personal ATM. If these dreadful people can be bought to hate Qatar so easily, perhaps that little country is doing something right. It is not clear if Mr. Vogel is being sarcastic when he writes about the Foreign Agents Registration Act: “Enforcing FARA has become an increasing priority for the Justice Department.”

  141. @sdw - "It is not clear if Mr. Vogel is being sarcastic when he writes about the Foreign Agents Registration Act: 'Enforcing FARA has become an increasing priority for the Justice Department'.” The key word there is "increasing"!

  142. It's an old song that's played at all levels of govt. from the real estate developers who financially backed Bill de Blasio's run for mayor and on up the food chain. One need only look at the donors to the Clinton Foundation to see how pervasive it is and how quickly the money dissipates when their ability to influence decisions in the Oval Office ceased.

  143. @George Oh yes, deflection. Stay on topic, George. Or you could discuss the fraudulent Trump foundation.

  144. When I read of the machinations of people who operate in this sphere, whose goals other than personal gain are nebulous and apparently fluid, I am always struck by how complicated it all is. The ties they actually form are difficult to sort out from the weak contacts which they merely paint as business (or personal) relationships. Their self-interest weaves through everything from the deals and relationships they make to the lies they tell. What seems clear is that people like Mr. Broidy are swamp creatures through and through for whom personal gain ultimately trumps all.

  145. Appalling. But not surprising. The cast of characters in this latest scandalous episode of business as usual in the 'Era of 45' represents the pinnacle of power, prominence, greed and corruption in this country. Small wonder that Epstein wasn't identified as a part of this clan. Yet. Vote.

  146. @Guido Malsh What if, Trump has something to do with the activities that Epstein was involved. Trump is in a video in a party with the now late Epstein, and Trump was caught denigrating woman in the now famous E! tapes. Maybe, Epstein had something on Trump and, I don't know but it could be possible (not necessarily) that Trump might, or might not, have something to do with the demise of Epstein, some secrets between friends.

  147. I didn’t know there were any “ boundaries” in the Washington influence game. The swamp is deep, and broad.

  148. Just another example highlighting how compromised trump is as a US president. Just yesterday, he gave reporters another one of his typical cowardly "both sides" response when asked about the authoritarian actions the Chinese government is taking against pro-Democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. At the same time, Trump Jr. just happened to be in Indonesia to promote a new Trump real estate deal that is believed to be partially funded by those associated with the Chinese govt. The greed of the Trump family not only works against US interests, it's simply embarrassing for our country. Vote this compromised Trump administration out in 2020, as well as the Republican lackeys who protect and enable trump's corruption.

  149. What a tangled web we weave! This was a very thorough article and I hung on every word. But you failed to mention the REASON why they went after Qatar. Could it have been to put pressure on the Qatari to finance Jared's 666 5th Ave building? I do believe the N.Y.Times has reported on that failed deal in the past. Just thought I'd throw that in, in case other readers were wondering.

  150. @C. Bernard - "Could it have been to put pressure on the Qatari to finance Jared's 666 5th Ave building?" That could be a factor, but it does not appear to be the major one. The main reason for Mr. Trump's overwhelming support of Saudi Arabia's plans in Middle East - which includes putting Qatar on the list of the US enemies - is to pave the way for selling Westinghouse nuclear power plants to that country. The contract worth exceeds 80 billion dollars and the sales commission is 10% of the contract; that is, those involved in the sale will be receiving 8 billion dollar. It is reported that both Jared Kushner's company and Trump Organization are acting as marketing agents for Westinghouse (please see 1). Trump has been pushing for transfer of the US nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia over the objections of ethics officials of the House oversight committee. 1. Independent article: "Trump administration 'pushing Saudi nuclear deal' which could benefit company linked to Jared Kushner," by Tom Embury-Dennis; February 20, 2019.

  151. @C. Bernard Right on. Or maybe it is because Qatar sponsors Al Jazeera which is about the only place honest reporting on the middle East is available .

  152. of opportunity, the golden land, where friends have prices and are a dime a dozen. ne is not the problem, the friends are the issue.

  153. Interesting article but there’s a clear diversion of the truth. Qatar is not only an enemy of the Saudis and the Emiratis but is mainly the enemy of the US. From committing an unprecedented cyber-attack on American citizens, to funding terrorism all over the middle east and undoubtedly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. Throughout the whole article one can read a biased narrative that puts in question its credibility.

  154. @Diana, The points you marshalled against Qatar are proof that Mr Broidy's efforts bore fruit. Most of those points are untrue.

  155. @Diana - This is a US "enemy"? Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command's Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center. As of 2015, the following American bases currently exist: Al Udeid Air Base. As Sayliyah Army Base.

  156. @Diana The depth of public ignorance in the United States is beyond measure. This is why a con man can get elected as the president of the United States.

  157. How many pardons does one pretend President get? Imagine the Republican Leadership Pride.

  158. In the discussion of Qatar and Trump's diatribes against it, there is no mention that there is a join US/British airbase in Qatar that is the place from which the US would launch planes for any needed interventions in the area as well as maintains surveillance of actions taking place throughout the Middle East. As usual Trump is attacking an ally or at least a semi-ally and rewarding dictators and countries which have done serious harm to the US and other democracies. Trump attacks Qatar and lauds Saudi Arabia in which the men who caused the attack of 9/11 on the WTC were based.

  159. THIS is why we MUST overturn Citizens United.

  160. @Penelope you are so correct. The idea that a corporation is the same as a human being is a corrupt decision, as corrupt as the Dred Scot court decision. Our supreme court has been packed with ideological Republicans, not Jurists. To say the Citizens United decision is good law defies logic and is insanity.

  161. Water runs the path of least resistance. That would include...swamp water.

  162. Excellent reporting Mr. Vogel, Mr. Kirkpatrick and NY Times team of contributors. The corruption eating like a cancer on the democracy of this nation must be exposed and the perpetrators charged.

  163. The list of his enlistees shows one thing, just one thing. Everyone, everyone who touches power is for sale. They are all for sale and all too many have been purchased.

  164. And now that fabulous new Game Show, “Name That Crook”!

  165. I must say that the connection between the dots, the allegations and the conclusions are quite weak and forced to fit the narrative against Broidy.

  166. @The Investigator Agreed. The article is intended to lay out the questions that the Dept of Justice is looking at and indicate the documentation that points to possible violations of law. The dots will be connected in court, presumably. Meanwhile, we are left to wonder why so many people with such questionable motives have been welcome in and around the edges of this assemblage of crooks and incompetents we charitably call an "administration.".

  167. We have to get rid of all the dark money & insist on funders names for every dime, while we try to get rid of Citizens United. There is corruption everywhere right now. McConnell likes it all private & he’s relentless at keeping everything the way it is now. Getting rid of a corrupt president would help a bit, but would only make a dent. New laws are needed ASAP.

  168. Thanks Mr Vogel. This is the kind of excellent investigative reporting that keeps me a subscriber here. Keep shining light on these roaches. Nothing should shock us anymore but that this man convicted of a massive corruption scheme was allowed anywhere near politics, let alone a co-chair for RNC finance, still gets me.

  169. As a Saudi, I can clearly say the article is misleading. Qatar is primarily a threat and an enemy of the United States and not just a rival of Saudi Arabia. Qatar brutally interferes with US internal affairs all the time - funding institutions and universities, interfering with the media, blackmailing funders. The way the writer presents this is absurd. Broidy should not convince president Trump that Qatar is part of the Axis of Evil. And if he does, that is not because of advocacy for Saudi Arabia or the Emirates, but because it is true! Every American should know this. Qatar poses a danger to US liberal values just as much as its ally, Iran.

  170. @Raed As a Saudi are you aware that your government murdered and dismembered a journalist and American resident to quiet his dissent of your countries immoral leadership ? Are you aware that 15 of the 19 Terrorists who flew hijacked airliners into the twin towers were also Saudis and that none were from Iran or Qatar? Are you aware that it is the Saudis who are bombing and starving the children and citizens of Yemen?

  171. The real question is where does this information come from? It seems like a political driven consistent agenda against Republicans.

  172. @Lloyd Well, if the shoe fits.

  173. I believe there is no swamp to drain - it's now a cesspool.

  174. I'm encouraged by the fact that the Justice Department still has the integrity to give this investigation the attention it deserves.

  175. This whole article is so disappointing. To realize that values are a joke and money is so easily changing hands really does make politics awful. Plus the long ago mantra of the republican party as the "family values" party is such a farce. Affairs, money, connections and foreign governments all serve to give Americans the impression that nothing matters but the right connections.

  176. 90%of Republicans and 42% of Americans polled approve of Trump and 'the job he is doing". That's a lot of us either through sheer ignorance, stupidity or selfish greed who are complicit in the fraud. That's a lot of us who are OK with a (man acting as) president who doesn't, or can't read a briefing document and cannot sit through a detailed presentation of material he can't read about. That's a lot of us who are OK with gross incompetence at governing but exceptional at lying, cheating and scamming. Broidy i s just another example of how un-exceptional American exceptionalism has become. We're fools to the world, for those elected and for those who did the electing.

  177. Broidy, Flynn, Manafort, Adelson, and the rest of the plutocrats selling out America's foreign diplomacy for profit to benefit foreign tyrants and dictatorships around the world are no different than the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin sponsoring little green men on behalf of Putin to undermine the world through violent mercenaries. Indeed, these wealthy American oligarchs and agents of foreign governments are nothing more than diplomatic mercenaries (violent mercenary armies in Broidy's case) for sale by plutocrats with too much wealth and ill-gotten capital to spend to buy politicians, legislators, entire governments to undermine the world, vulnerable populations and true American diplomatic interests.

  178. @PAN it is also interesting that each of these billionaire participants are engaged in furthering their wealth at any cost. I guess there is no end to the greed and avarice of some of those who already have more wealth than a thousand people could spend in a lifetime . A terrible comment on the low class of many high brows.

  179. Reading this article and seeing the various names associated with this individual is deeply depressing. Everything in this country is for sale and, despite our lofty rhetoric, we have zero principles as a people, political body, or culture. If we don’t fundamentally overhaul our campaign finance laws and reduce the influence of lobbyists, America is doomed. It’s hard enough to solve complex problems; it’s impossible to do so when the hands on the wheel have conflicting interests and motives.

  180. Every crook and cranny of Trump’s world is filled with nefarious people with zero morality or ethics. . But hey, they and Trump are right on the money. Literally like jackals sniffing out carrion. Broody is as slick as they come. But everyone knows with Mitch , Barr, and Trump this guy will walk free. The rot is deep and it is going to take more than bleach to clean the stench.

  181. In other words, Broidy bribed Trump with donations in order to influence peddle and then capitalized on connections to become an advisor to benefit companies he owned who were also getting money from foreign sources. Military officers, think tanks, media - they are all bought and all give advice MAI - Made As Instructed. Does anyone in the Trump Swamp care about the country? Is patriotism somewhere on their list of priorities? If this is not illegal, it should be. Congress, do your job!