Brookings locations president John Allen on depart amid FBI probe


Retired Marine General John Allen was positioned on depart as president of the Brookings Institution think-tank on Wednesday as federal investigators probe his alleged participation in an unlawful lobbying marketing campaign on behalf of Qatar.

The prestigious Washington-based public coverage basis’s determination adopted the inadvertent publication of an affidavit this week indicating that the FBI was trying into whether or not Allen tried to assist Qatar navigate a 2017 diplomatic disaster and lined up his involvement within the lobbying effort.

It is the newest twist in a broad US federal effort to research affect campaigns by rich Gulf states together with Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Allen has not been charged with any crime and has denied wrongdoing. He didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The affidavit included new particulars a couple of wide-ranging federal probe into the rich Gulf nation’s efforts to affect Donald Trump’s administration and its response to a years-long feud with its neighbours.

According to the court docket submitting, which was briefly made public late on Tuesday earlier than being sealed, Allen travelled to Qatar to satisfy senior officers after which reported on these conferences to senior Trump administration officers. It mentioned he did so in a private capability whereas hiding that he was being paid by Qatar.

The affidavit mentioned he suggested the Qataris on particular steps to achieve US help in the course of the feud and requested Trump administration officers to take motion on Qatar’s behalf with out correctly disclosing the character of his work.

He didn’t look like registered in a US federal database of individuals lobbying on behalf of overseas international locations, as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The Department of Justice has stepped up its efforts to research FARA violations in recent times, significantly these tied to Gulf states.

Richard Olson, a former US ambassador to Pakistan and US particular consultant for Afghanistan and Pakistan, final week pleaded responsible to federal costs in reference to the probe. He is co-operating with prosecutors’ investigation into Allen.

Allen, a retired four-star normal, took the helm of Brookings in November 2017 after beforehand main US and Nato forces in Afghanistan.

In an e-mail to employees, co-chairs of the Brookings board of trustees Glenn Hutchins and Suzanne Nora Johnson mentioned Allen took the “personal trip to Qatar in 2017, before he was appointed president at Brookings.”

Hutchins and Johnson added that Brookings “is not a subject of this investigation” and “has strong policies in place to prohibit donors from directing research activities”.

Brookings had beforehand obtained funds from Qatar however ended its monetary ties to the nation in 2019. It determined that 12 months to shut a number of overseas centres, together with one in Doha, in accordance with a spokesperson.