Elliott Broidy's All-Access Pass

Trump, Inc. is back. Our podcast with ProPublica focused earlier this year on the many mysteries around President Donald Trump’s businesses. This season, we’re widening the lens to look at the people around Trump and how they are benefitting from his presidency. Our first episode looks at Elliott Broidy. You might remember him as the Republican financier who agreed to pay a Playboy model $1.6 million in return for her silence. (Broidy has said it was just to help her financially.) Before that scandal, Broidy was at the center of another one. A decade ago, he pleaded guilty to bribing New York State pension officials — “an old-fashioned payoff,“ as then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo put it. (Before the plea was finalized, a judge allowed Broidy to change his plea from a felony to a misdemeanor.) After that, Broidy built himself back up as a fundraiser for Republican candidates and, eventually, for Trump. He became the deputy finance co-chair of the Republican National Committee, met with the president, and drummed up hundreds of millions in foreign business while touting his connections. “Elliott Broidy is fantastic,” Trump said last year at his first presidential fundraiser. “Everybody loves Elliott.” How did Broidy go from a criminal conviction to praise from the president? And what did he do with that connection? Listen to our episode. We have an unusually detailed picture of Broidy’s work from his emails, which were hacked and given to reporters. Broidy has blamed Qatar, saying the country targeted him because he is a vocal supporter of Israel and critic of Qatar. (Here is a letter we received from Broidy’s lawyer about that.)   Broidy declined our requests for an interview. His spokesman told us in an email statement: “Elliott Broidy has never agreed to work for, been retained by nor been compensated by any foreign government for any interaction with the United States Government, ever.”   Correction, Sept 26, 2018: This story originally stated that Elliott Broidy was convicted of bribing New York State officials. In fact, he pleaded guilty to bribing them, but before the plea was finalized, a judge allowed him to change his plea from a felony to a misdemeanor. Correction, Sept 26, 2018: This story originally said that Elliott Broidy paid $1.6 million to a Playboy model. He agreed to do so but stopped paying her after the arrangement became public.   

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