Top Trump Fundraiser Offered To Help Lift Russian Sanctions
A top fundraiser for President Donald Trump, Elliott Broidy, offered his assistance to an attorney based in Russia in trying to get Russian companies removed from the U.S. sanctions list, according to Bloomberg News.
Broidy made the offer after an inquiry from Andrei Baev, an energy lawyer at Chadbourne & Parke LLP, both men acknowledged in statements to Bloomberg News this week. In a proposal sent to Baev shortly before Trump’s January 2017 inauguration, Broidy sketched out a potential campaign to influence top U.S. officials, according to a person with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Bloomberg reports that no deal was made in the end:
But the discussions are a striking illustration of how Russians’ efforts to escape sanctions led them to seek political allies close to Trump. Broidy, a Los Angeles money manager and deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a written statement to Bloomberg that he didn’t offer to “personally” set up meetings with top U.S. officials for Baev’s clients. The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Baev said he reached out to Broidy, along with another Washington consultant, as “a possible instruction from one of my corporate clients" and described his work as part of a larger effort by global firms exploring ways they might be able to assist Russian companies after Trump's election.
Baev declined to identify the client and said he was never retained to pursue the matter. He previously had done work for large Russian energy companies, including Lukoil Pjsc and Kremlin-controlled Gazprom Pjsc, according to a 2015 article in a U.K. legal publication.
Broidy has claimed that documents being leaked to the media, as was the case with emails related to this story, were stolen from his private server, in some cases subsequently altered -- and he believes Qatar is behind the hack.
Previous emails leaked to the press involved Broidy's contact with George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who serves as a 'fixer' of sorts in the Middle East.
Nader was caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation earlier this year.
Earlier this month, several media organizations, including the AP, obtained emails belonging to Broidy, a California-based venture capitalist and the Republican National Committee’s deputy finance chairman. They show Broidy emailing Nader with a summary of Broidy’s talks with Kushner and Trump in the White House in October 2017, touching on matters including the UAE’s bitter dispute with fellow Persian Gulf country Qatar.