Leaked emails analyzed by the Associated Press (AP) reveal top Donald Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy and business partner George Nader cultivated crown princes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and attempted to subvert Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan at the expense of Qatar, in return for major consulting contracts involving vast sums from both countries, according to an AP investigation of hundreds of pages of leaked emails between the two men.
In one such email sent December 2, 2017, Broidy reported back to Nader on a meeting he'd had with the President, saying he'd told Trump the crown princes were "most favorably impressed" by his leadership, and in turn had offered the crown princes' help in the Middle East peace plan being developed by Jared Kushner. He presumably did not disclose to Trump his partner had complete contempt for the plan — and for his son-in-law.
"You have to hear in private my Brother what Principals think of ‘Clown prince's' efforts and his plan! Nobody would even waste cup of coffee on him if it wasn't for who he is married to," he wrote.
Bribery and Pedophilia
Broidy and Nader are both long-time behind the scenes operators in Washington, and both have dubious criminal pasts.
Broidy became finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2006, a post he held until 2008, when a New York state pension fund invested US$250 million with him.
Investigators subsequently found he'd plied state officials with nearly US$1 million in illegal gifts while collecting US$18 million in management fees to get their business, and in 2009, he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of rewarding official misconduct. Then-New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo called his tactics "an old-fashioned payoff," and "effectively bribery of state officials."
Nader's legal issues are considerably more sinister, and involve child molestation. After almost two decades spent as a fixer and broker in Washington, connecting Israeli and Arab VIPs, in May 2003 he was convicted in the Czech Republic of 10 counts of sexually abusing minors.
Sentenced to a one-year prison term, he served his time in Prague, before being expelled from the country. It was not until March 2018 his status as convicted pedophile was publicly revealed — perhaps explaining his apparently unbridled success in rebuilding his reputation in short order subsequently.
The pair's respective backgrounds represented a mutual coincidence of needs — both were eager to break back in to Washington, and both had contacts the other craved. Together, they could convert their connections into millions if not billions of dollars.
Broidy and Nader pitched themselves to as a direct backchannel to the White House and proposed multiple plans to the two Gulf crown princes which would've earned them in excess of US$1 billion. One pitch was to help create an all-Muslim fighting force, another aimed at helping the UAE gather intelligence, another was related to setting up international counterterrorism centers in Saudi Arabia. In a note to Broidy, Nader said the princes were very happy with the proposals, particularly the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
At the end of March 2017, Nader emailed Broidy he'd had "a terrific, magnificent meeting" with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, which indicated prospects for the billion-dollar contracts were good.
Broidy and Nader were instrumental in the ultimately failed push of an anti-Qatar bill through Congress in April 2017. Emails show Broidy boasting he'd got the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, California Republican Ed Royce, to back the legislation. That year, Broidy donated almost US$600,000 to GOP candidates — Royce received the maximum permitted, and Broidy emailed Nader claiming he'd "shifted" the California lawmaker to "being critical of Qatar."
On April 21 2017, Broidy sent Nader the draft of an opinion piece ostensibly written by retired Air Force General Charles Wald, former deputy head of US European Command, marked "Confidential."
Three days later, the article was published in the Wall Street Journal under the title "The Two Faces of Qatar, a Dubious Mideast Ally". The article, co-called for moving US military assets from the al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar to the "logical destination" of the UAE. Wald is listed in company documents as a member of Broidy's Circinus team.
In late September, Broidy arranged to meet Trump in the Oval Office. In advance, Nader emailed over a script to follow, bulletpointing key objectives — selling the idea of an all-Muslim fighting force, keeping the president from intervening on Qatar, and arranging a meeting between Trump and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
After the October 6 meeting, Broidy reported back to Nader he'd passed along the messages, and Trump was "extremely enthusiastic," believing a meeting with MBZ to be a "good idea."
In December, days after Broidy's "clown prince" email, the UAE duly awarded him the intelligence contract he and his partner had been seeking, which paid up to US$600 million over five years.
In January 2018, Broidy was looking forward to a third meeting with Trump, during celebrations of the president's first year in office. Nader was supposed to join them, but the initial payment from the UAE contract was late — he delayed his trip for a day to ensure it was wired.
On the 17th of that month, Broidy received the instalment — US$36 million — and Nader fired him an ecstatic email. "Terrific!" he wrote, "First among many to go!"
When Nader landed at Dulles Airport, Washington DC later that day, FBI agents were waiting to greet him. He was relieved of his electronic devices and served with a grand jury subpoena. He subsequently agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Broidy it transpired was also a Cohen client — the lawyer's work for the fixer included covering up an affair he'd had with Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard, who got pregnant and later had an abortion. Broidy paid her US$1.6 million in alleged ‘hush money' to ensure their tryst was kept secret from the public — and his wife.
Moreover, the pair's anti-Qatar operation yielded no results. The US' base in the country will not be moving to Qatar, US arms sales to Qatar have increased, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for a conclusive and peaceful end to the antagonism between the Gulf states.
Broidy has claimed he didn't need to register as his activities weren't directed by a foreign client and came entirely at his own initiative — but AP documents show his lobbying was inextricable from the pursuit of contracts from day one, and involved specific political tasks carried out for the crown princes. Moreover, both UAE and Saudi Arabia are listed as "clients " in a leaked internal Circinus spreadsheet.