Federal authorities have raided the Los Angeles offices of major Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy, according to a search warrant obtained by ProPublica. Broidy is the subject of a Justice Department investigation involving money laundering, conspiracy, and covert lobbying on behalf of foreign officials. Investigators believe he sold influence on the Trump administration to foreign officials and financiers. The raid was an attempt to obtain documents relating to Broidy’s dealings with specific foreign officials and figures tied to the Trump administration, including Rick Gates, who is cooperating with the Mueller probe, Malaysian financier Jho Low and Broidy’s wife Robin Rosenzweig, who runs the law firm Colfax Law Office.
The scope of the warrant and the approach taken by federal authorities rivals the raid on President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, whose offices were also searched for documents back in April 2018. The warrant reportedly gave investigators the authority to use Broidy’s face and hands to unlock his phones.
Broidy has had a rocky career since pleading guilty to charges in a New York state corruption and bribery investigation in 2009. His profile started to rise again when he began supporting Trump’s run for president, becoming a major fundraiser for the campaign and eventually landing the job of national deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee. However, he was forced to resign in April 2018 after it was revealed he paid a former Playboy model to cover up their affair.
Other focal points for the investigation include Broidy’s dealings with UAE advisor George Nader, who wanted Broidy to influence White House decision-making in favor of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in exchange for hefty contracts for Broidy’s private security company. Nader is now a cooperating witness in the special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Justice Department is also looking for documents regarding China and Guo Wengui, a Chinese businessman who fled to New York and publicly accused the Chinese government of corruption. Broidy reportedly wanted to use his influence with the White House to force Guo out of the United States and curry favor with the Chinese government.
Broidy’s attorneys and spokespeople have yet to make a public statement on the specifics of the investigation and the raid on his office. Broidy has not been officially charged with a crime.