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Elliot Broidy (R) with business executive Fred Sands (L). Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Pepperdine University

Elliott Broidy, the former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, appears set to plead guilty to conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent by lobbying the Trump administration to drop an investigation into the massive Malaysian embezzlement scheme 1MDB, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: Broidy is the latest 2016 Trump campaign associate to face criminal charges, joining former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, deputy chairman Rick Gates, chief executive Steve Bannon, adviser Michael Flynn, outside adviser Roger Stone and fellow deputy finance chairman Michael Cohen.

  • Broidy is accused of leveraging his "access to and perceived influence" with President Trump and the administration in order to secure payments from Malaysian businessman Jho Low, who is not named in the indictment.
  • Low has separately been charged for his role in "orchestrating and executing a multi-billion-dollar embezzlement scheme from 1MDB." Broidy is accused of lobbying the Justice Department to drop the investigation without registering as a foreign agent.
  • Broidy is also accused of lobbying the Trump administration to deport wealthy Chinese dissident Guo Wengui, an associate of Steve Bannon, back to China.

Read the filing.

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The Swamp wins

President Trump on Jan. 28, 2017, with two aides he later pardoned — national security adviser Michael Flynn and strategist Steve Bannon. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

It was 12:50 a.m. on Inauguration Day when President Trump announced 143 pardons and commutations — including a pardon for Steve Bannon. 17 minutes later, the White House released an executive order that said it all about his failure to "drain the Swamp," as he'd promised in the '16 campaign.

Driving the news: Trump revoked an executive order, signed eight days after he took office, that limits his appointees' lobbying for five years after leaving the administration.

Trump pardons Bannon in final hours of presidency

Steve Bannon. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

President Trump issued an eleventh-hour pardon to his former chief strategist Steve Bannon on Tuesday night, sparing a longtime ally from a federal fraud prosecution over his alleged misappropriation of nonprofit funds.

Why it matters: Bannon was the most high-profile name on a White House list of dozens pardons and commutations, with hours remaining in Trump's presidency. His pardon of the former Breitbart News chief came as Bannon faced criminal charges stemming from a scheme to privately finance a southern border wall.