A top fundraiser for President Donald Trump and a lawyer for Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are reportedly connected to the alleged scheme to offer a bribe in exchange for a presidential pardon.
The New York Times reports that a tech billionaire named Sanford Diller asked the fundraiser, Elliot Broidy, and Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, to help a psychologist named Hugh Baras receive clemency after being imprisoned for tax evasion in 2017. Lowell then became Baras’ attorney, as confirmed by Lowell’s own lawyer in an interview with the Times.
Diller, who passed away in February 2018, is reportedly the individual alleged to be the one who would offer a “substantial political contribution” mentioned in the recently unsealed court order in the Justice Department’s investigation into the alleged plot. The Times notes that no records show that Diller donated directly to the 2016 Trump campaign.
There has been no indication that Trump or anyone in the White House was directly involved in the scheme, and “[n]o government official was or is currently a subject or target of the investigation,” the Justice Department told multiple outlets after the order was unsealed on Tuesday.
Baras, who was released from prison in August last year, ultimately did not receive clemency.