Ex-GOP donor charged with conspiring to act as a foreign agent

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Elliott Broidy, a prominent fundraiser for President Trump and the Republican Party, has been charged with conspiring to act as a foreign agent after prosecutors said he tried to interfere in an investigation into billions of dollars stolen from a Malaysian wealth fund. 

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Prosecutors allege that Broidy “facilitated and attempted to facilitate meetings and other efforts to influence officials at the highest level of the United States government, including the president and the attorney general" to drop the probe into 1MDB, an investment fund meant for Malaysia's economic development but which was allegedly utilized as a personal resource by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's associates. 

During a May 2017 meeting in a Bangkok hotel suite, Broidy is accused of agreeing to lobby the Trump administration and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for an $8 million retainer fee, according to prosecutors.

Broidy allegedly attempted to use his connections to Trump and the White House to arrange a golf meeting between Trump and the Malaysian prime minister but to no avail. 

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The effort was made on behalf of a fugitive Malaysian financier, Jho Low. 

Low, who remains at large, was charged in 2018 in connection with conspiring to launder billions from the fund and last year reached a civil settlement to recover more than $700 million in assets that officials said were traceable to the looted fund.

Broidy is facing a single conspiracy charge related to his failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires people lobbying in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign entity to disclose that work to the Justice Department.

Broidy served as the Republican National Committee's deputy chairman until 2018, when he resigned after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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