Disgraced GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy filed a new lawsuit against his alleged Qatari-backed tormentors in D.C. federal court today, one month after a Manhattan federal judge dismissed a similar complaint.
Broidy is suing GOP operative Nicolas Muzin, businessman Joey Allaham, and Mercury Public Affairs media strategist Gregory Howard, alleging that the trio – along with lobbying firm Stonington Strategies – took millions of dollars from the Qatari government to extort and defame him after hacking his emails.
The suit also claims that Qatar’s alleged conspiracy was aimed at putting Broidy in special counsel Robert “Mueller’s crosshairs.”
The now-dismissed lawsuit that Broidy filed in Manhattan federal court made similar accusations, but named U.N. diplomat Jamal Benomar as a mastermind of the alleged scheme. Broidy is appealing that dismissal.
The new lawsuit accuses Qatar of hacking Broidy’s emails, and then financing a media campaign to spread the messages and “silence Broidy,” after he began to lobby against the gulf state in “early 2017.”
“Since that time, as a private citizen, Mr. Broidy has regularly conveyed his criticism of Qatar in meetings with United States officials and civic leaders, and on the issue of Qatari terrorism, he directly conferred with the President of the United States,” the lawsuit reads.
Broidy, a longtime Los Angeles-based GOP donor, switched from supporting Ted Cruz during the 2016 Republican primary to becoming a fundraiser for Trump. He served as a finance vice-chair of the Trump inaugural, and kept a relatively low profile until March 2018, when a bevy of stories were published detailing how Broidy was allegedly selling access to the White House.
A series of hacks that Broidy accuses Qatar of perpetrating exposed the financier’s alleged self-dealing.
The lawsuit alleges that Qatar employed Gregory Howard – a public affairs specialist who worked for Conover & Gould, and then Mercury – to spread the contents of the emails to dozens of news outlets and journalists.
Relying on material from Howard’s phone records, the suit goes on to detail dozens of purported conversations between the Mercury employee and journalists digging into Broidy – mostly in March 2018, when the first wave of stories suggesting that Broidy was selling access to the White House hit.
“Three days after the first successful spear phishing intrusion, Howard engaged in a flurry of calls with outside public relations professionals,” the lawsuit reads. The suit later adds that “several of the phone lines he contacted are registered to registered Qatari agents Katherine Lewis and Jennifer Kaufmann, as well as Molly Toomey, whose bio on the Mercury website states that she ‘[l]ed international PR’ for a ‘$1 billion’ project financed by Qatar Investment Authority.”
Read the complaint below:
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