With all the hullabaloo around former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s rapid entry to and exit from a new consulting firm, the name Elliott Broidy has surfaced again. As Broidy is a man with his fingers in many pies, here’s a rundown of why he’s involved in the consulting firm debacle.
On Tuesday, Flynn announced that he would be taking the role of global strategies director at new consulting firm Stonington Global LLC, with lobbyist Nick Muzin and his partner Joey Allaham. Flynn’s lawyers retracted his commitment — at least temporarily — a few hours later, saying that the statement was released preemptively due to a “misunderstanding.” All the while, Flynn is still waiting to be sentenced for lying to federal investigators about his Russian contacts, a guilty plea he made in December as part of his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Here’s where Broidy comes in. Muzin and Allaham’s last venture was a $300,000-per-month contract with the Qatari government to bolster the country’s positive image in Washington. This entailed fostering relationships between the royal family and Trump associates. However, the project came to a grinding halt when Muzin and the Qatari government were smacked with a lawsuit in March by Broidy who claimed that the Qataris hacked into his emails and, with Muzin’s help, disseminated them to journalists to ruin his reputation.
The emails show Broidy’s attempt to offer access to the Trump administration and GOP members of Congress to curry favor and seal deals with foreign governments.
Broidy at the time was lobbying hard against Qatari interests in D.C., accusing the country of promoting Islamic extremism. He also owned a defense contractor that had huge contracts with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both of which are regional enemies of Qatar.
Qatar has been spending bucketloads of money in the U.S. to secure Trump’s support against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which, along with Bahrain and Egypt, began a devastating boycott of Qatar last year. Saudi Arabia and the UAE accuse Qatar of harboring and financing terrorists. They also despise Qatar’s Al Jazeera and reportedly want to dethrone the young emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Broidy’s emails revealed another bombshell, unrelated to his international interests or Flynn’s consulting firm, that got his name into the news. The leaked emails told the story of Broidy’s $1.6 million hush money payment to former Playboy model Shera Bechard when she became pregnant during their affair. That payment was arranged by his colleague at the RNC, Michael Cohen.