US Bans Trump Inaugural Attendee From Further Entry Over Corruption

Liviu Dragnea, then the leader of Romania's Social Democratic Party, leaves the High court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) on April 15, 2019. (Photo by DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
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September 5, 2019 12:22 p.m.
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The State Department banned a Romanian politician accused of corruption from entering the U.S. Thursday, after he spent years cozying up to influential GOPers for access to Washington.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an order barring Romanian politico Liviu Dragnea and his immediate family from entering the U.S. over allegations of “significant corruption.”

Before being banned, Dragnea attended Trump’s 2016 inaugural bash reportedly on invitation from GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy. The LA-based Republican financier was reportedly offering access to top U.S. officials at the event.

Dragnea went to a private party with President Donald Trump during inauguration week. He met the President there, and wrote about it in a January 19, 2017 Facebook post.

“We will make it happen! Romania is important for us!” Dragnea quoted Trump as telling him.

Aseară am avut onoarea de a participa, împreună cu premierul Sorin Grindeanu, la o cină în format restrâns alături de…

Posted by Liviu Dragnea on Thursday, January 19, 2017

 

Broidy’s defense firm — Circinus — sparked scrutiny for its reported attempts to sign lucrative contracts with the Romanian government in the months following Dragnea’s trip.

Broidy has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing. He maintains that all of his dealings were within the boundaries of the law.

The now-banned Romanian politician also benefitted from the legal stylings of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The former New York mayor was paid last year to send a letter to Bucharest criticizing the Romanian government’s efforts to root out corruption — which the U.S. has supported.

At the time that Giuliani sent the letter, Dragnea was fighting graft charges in Romania.

Dragnea welcomed the letter in a statement issued at the time, saying that “the bitter conclusion of this letter is that trust in the Romanian justice system is seriously shaken when it comes to foreign partners and foreign investors.”

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