KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 20): US President Donald Trump has granted a full pardon to Elliot Broidy (pictured), who was convicted last year on a count of conspiracy to lobby on behalf of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low as he is better known, and who was once described by investigators as the mastermind behind the massive financial fraud at 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
In a statement, the White House said the pardon for Broidy, a former fundraiser for Trump, was supported by 21 individuals. It also said that Broidy is “well known for his numerous philanthropic efforts including on behalf of law enforcement, the military and veterans programs, and the Jewish community”.
Last October, Broidy pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and lobbying Trump to drop a US investigation into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Prosecutors alleged that Broidy received millions of dollars from an unnamed foreign national to try to arrange the end of the investigation.
His guilty plea was part of a plea bargain, in which he agreed to forfeit US$6.6 million.
SCMP previously reported, citing court documents, as to how Broidy had sought to set up a round of golf between Trump and then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in June 2017, and told a senior White House official that Trump agreed to the request. The round of golf, however, never materialised.
Reuters also reported that Broidy had unsuccessfully sought to facilitate the US extradition to China of billionaire Guo Wengui, who has engaged in US-based anti-China political activities with former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon.
Bannon, who faced “charges relating to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project”, was also among those pardoned by the outgoing US president, according to the White House statement. Bannon, it noted, has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.