UAE adviser suspected of secretly lobbying Congress
by Evan Wilt
Posted 3/26/18, 11:42 am
WASHINGTON—A political adviser to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reportedly funneled millions of dollars to a Republican fundraiser to help further the Middle Eastern nation’s agenda in Congress, according to an Associated Press investigation. George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and witness for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, wired $2.5 million to Elliott Broidy, a fundraiser for President Donald Trump. Nader sent the money through a company in Canada, according to the investigation, and Broidy used the funds to lobby U.S. lawmakers to adopt measures targeting Qatar, a UAE rival. Shortly after receiving the money in 2017, Broidy sponsored a conference to discuss Qatar’s alleged ties to terrorism. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., announced at the event he would introduce legislation labeling Qatar as a terrorist-supporting state. Broidy gave Royce $5,400 in campaign gifts—the maximum allowed by law—two months after the lawmaker introduced the bill. The Associated Press reported Broidy doled out more than $600,000 of Nader’s money to U.S. lawmakers to encourage them to target Qatar. Broidy initially raised money for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the 2016 election but put his efforts behind Trump after Cruz dropped out. Nader became a target of the Mueller probe after investigators discovered he attended several meetings with foreign leaders and top Trump aides shortly before Trump became president.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.