Federal investigators in California are currently looking into allegations of misconduct and corruption by members of President Donald Trump‘s inaugural committee.
According to The New York Times, the U.S. Department of Justice is currently probing “the business and political dealings” of top Trump fundraiser Elliot Broidy–who allegedly attempted to use his close relationship with the 45th president’s campaign to promote his own business interests.
After Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Broidy quickly capitalized, marketing his Trump connections to politicians and governments around the world, including some with unsavory records, according to interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Broidy suggested to clients and prospective customers of his Virginia-based defense contracting company, Circinus, that he could broker meetings with Mr. Trump, his administration and congressional allies.
Those allegations have apparently made their way to federal authorities across the country.
Los Angeles-based investigators are part of this ongoing investigation and have raised specific questions about the inaugural committee, per anonymous sources cited by the outlet who are said to be familiar with the matter.
President Trump’s inaugural committee was issued a subpoena in February over concerns that wealthy donors may have given money at the time in exchange for access to the incoming administration. Such allegations were the direct result of evidence uncovered during the April 2018 raids on former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen‘s office.
During those raids, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation allegedly came across a recorded phone conversation between Cohen and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a one-time adviser to Melania Trump. Wolkoff worked on the inaugural committee and apparently expressed concern as to how the outfit was spending its money.
Notably, Paul Manafort‘s former right-hand man Rick Gates–who is still a cooperating witness–served as the inaugural committee’s deputy chair.
Bribery or attempted bribery of public officials is a federal crime. The improper diversion of funds from a non-profit–which is the corporate form chosen by the inaugural committee members–would also violate the federal law concerning non-profits.
Broidy himself has outstanding legal issues seemingly distinct from his inaugural committee work.
As Law&Crime previously reported, Broidy’s office was raided during the summer of 2018 over suspicions that the former Republican National Committee chair may have been involved in conspiracy, money laundering and foreign lobbying violations. At issue during that raid were Broidy’s overseas activity in China and Saudi Arabia–as well as his relationship with a Miami Beach club promoter and admitted tax scofflaw.
[image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images]