Qatar, Saudi princes, the United Arab Emirates, a Republican millionaire donor, Lebanese businessman George Nader, attorney Michael Cohen, a Playbody model, an abortion, and a $1.6 million hush money payoff. What do these things have in common? Donald Trump.
This sordid tale begins with Elliott Broidy, who until recently was a finance chair for the Republican National Committee, a position he held alongside Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney. It’s all kinds of amazing that the Republican National Committee ever agreed to let Broidy have such a prominent role in the party. In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty to felony fraud charges after he was caught bribing New York officials to steer pension fund investments to his projects. Of interest to this story is one particular tactic Broidy used back then, influencing one official by paying off his girlfriend. From the New York Times in 2009:
In court on Thursday, Mr. Broidy described other gifts to higher-ups in Mr. Hevesi’s administration, including an official who he said arranged for him to pay $90,000 to cover his girlfriend’s rent and hospital bills, as well as $44,000 to the girlfriend’s relative.
Fast forward to December 2017. Elliott Broidy is back in business and bigger than ever, working as a finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, closing in on $1 billion in business from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, bragging to Middle Eastern officials about his connections to Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Broidy and Lebanese businessman George Nadar, who was closely connected to the Saudi princes, were hard at work pushing anti-Qatar policies with U.S. representatives. According to the NYT, Broidy extensively invested in Republicans during this time period.
Broidy reported he was making progress, and Nader kept the “principals” briefed on their adventures, emails show. Broidy boasted that he had got the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, California Republican Rep. Ed Royce, to back an anti-Qatar bill.
“This is extremely positive,” Broidy wrote. He claimed he had “shifted” Royce from being critical of Saudi Arabia to “being critical of Qatar.” The AP reported in March that Broidy gave nearly $600,000 to GOP candidates and causes since the beginning of 2017. Royce got the maximum allowed.
If that isn’t raising your eyebrows just yet, buckle up. The Associated Press reported on emails between Broidy and Nader. Aside from describing Jared Kushner as the “clown prince,” the AP notes a crucial Trump meeting on December 2, 2017.
Broidy met Trump once again on Dec. 2. He reported back to Nader that he’d told Trump the crown princes were “most favorably impressed by his leadership.” He offered the crown princes’ help in the Middle East peace plan being developed by Jared Kushner. He did not tell Trump that his partner had complete contempt for the plan — and for the president’s son-in-law.
“You have to hear in private my Brother what Principals think of ‘Clown prince’s’ efforts and his plan!” Nader wrote. “Nobody would even waste cup of coffee on him if it wasn’t for who he is married to.”
Days after Broidy’s meeting with Trump, the UAE awarded Broidy the intelligence contract the partners had been seeking for up to $600 million over 5 years, according to a leaked email.
The Muslim fighting force contract would be even larger, potentially bringing their entire Gulf enterprise to more than $1 billion.
Why is this date potentially so significant? Because on December 1, only one day before Broidy was able to get a meeting with Donald Trump inside the Oval Office, Broidy made his first installment of a $1.3 million hush money payoff to a Playboy model. The Wall Street Journal reported the unnamed model had an affair with Elliott Broidy, an affair that resulted in an aborted pregnancy. Curiously and inexplicably, the hush money payoff between Broidy and the unnamed model just happened to be negotiated between Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and Keith Davidson, a Los Angeles-based attorney who had represented several clients who’d claimed affairs with Donald Trump, including Stormy Daniels. Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ current attorney, has claimed Davidson and Cohen appeared to be working in concert together to keep these women quiet and get Donald Trump the best hush money deal possible. They even used the same pseudonyms in the contract, “David Dennison” and “Peggy Peterson.” The same names that appear in the original Stormy Daniels agreement. Based on all the information coming to light, there are several key questions Congress should immediately begin investigating.
- Was the $1.6 million payment to the Playboy model really a payment to conceal yet another Donald Trump affair?
- Did David Broidy use this payment to gain influence and get a private meeting in the Oval Office?
- Did Donald Trump direct his staff and State Department to change positions on Qatar and the Iran nuclear deal based on Broidy’s influence?
If these dots are connected, you can bet Special Counsel Robert Mueller is hot on the trail. After all, George Nader was picked up by the FBI at Washington Dulles International Airport in January 2018 and is cooperating with the special counsel investigation. Nader’s destination on that trip to the U.S.? Mar-A-Lago, for a celebration of Trump’s first year in office.