FBI questioning former business partner of top GOP fundraiser over Trump inauguration funds: report

FBI questioning former business partner of top GOP fundraiser over Trump inauguration funds: report
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1174913530 WILKES-BARRE, PA - AUGUST 2, 2018: President Donald Trump gives a double outstreched hand gesture during a campaign rally for Congressman Lou Barletta held at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Lisa Korbatov, a former business associate of GOP fundraiser and Trump ally Elliott Broidy, has discussed Broidy’s business dealings with the FBI, the Daily Beast is reporting.

In 2016, Broidy was the top fundraiser for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and, after Trump won the election, his inaugural committee. In April 2018, Broidy resigned from his position as deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee (RNC) after a sex scandal in which Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard alleged that Broidy had an extramarital affair with her that resulted in a pregnancy. Broidy was also alleged to have paid Bechard, via Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, $1.6 million to keep quiet.

Korbatov is described by Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco in their Daily Beast report as a “pro-Israel activist with deep roots in the L.A. Republican community.” And according to an anonymous source the Daily Beast spoke to, Korbatov “expects questions about her work with Broidy and about Donald Trump’s inauguration.”

The Washington Post has reported that Steve Wynn, another prominent RNC fundraiser and Trump ally, is also cooperating with federal investigators who are probing Broidy’s activities. And federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York, according to the Wall Street Journal, have been investigating the ways in which Trump’s inaugural committee spent the record amount of money it raised.

Broidy and Korbatov, Mother Jones’ David Corn reported on December 12, worked with Nigerian businessman Dolapo Asiru in 2016 on a business venture in Angola called BCH Development Group. According to the agreement, Corn reported, “Korbatov would get a finder’s fee of 3% for any security contract negotiated by the Republic of Angola and Circinus, a security firm Broidy owned. And Asiru would pocket 30%.”

Woodruff and Banco report that the BCH deal, according to a source “familiar with Broidy and Korbatov’s relationship,” was “the only formal business dealing between the two.”

The Daily Beast notes that although Broidy has been the subject of interest by the U.S. Department of Justice, he has not been charged with any crime.


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