Justice Department charges top Trump fundraiser in illegal lobbying scheme

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Elliott Broidy resigned in 2018 from his role at the Republican National Committee after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair.

Elliott Broidy, a fundraiser for Donald Trump and the Republican Party, has been charged in an illicit lobbying campaign aimed at getting the Trump administration to drop an investigation into the multibillion-dollar looting of a Malaysian state investment fund.

Broidy is the latest person accused by the Justice Department of participating in the covert lobbying effort, which also sought to arrange for the return of a Chinese dissident living in the United States. A consultant, Nickie Lum Davis, agreed to plead guilty in federal court in Hawaii in August.

The case was filed this week in federal court in Washington, D.C.

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Prosecutors allege that Broidy worked with Davis and others to get the Justice Department to abandon its pursuit of billions of dollars that officials say were pilfered from 1MDB, a Malaysian wealth fund that was established more than a decade ago to accelerate the country's economic development.

The effort was done on behalf of a fugitive Malaysian financier, Jho Low, who has been charged in the United States with conspiring to launder billions of dollars from the fund. He has denied all wrongdoing.

Broidy has been a top fundraiser for Trump but resigned in 2018 from his role as deputy chair of the Republican National Committee after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair.