Top US general accused of corrupt lobbying — Analysis

The FBI leaked a filing that claimed that a retired general of four stars lied to government officials when he was lobbying for Qatar.

According to FBI documents, the Associated Press has learned that John Allen, a former Marine Corps general could be facing criminal charges for his alleged involvement in illegal lobbying campaigns for Qatari officials. According to the filing, the top-ranking US officer misled US authorities regarding the nature of his work. He also stood to gain personally from Doha’s dealings.

Allen provided the following: “false version of events”When asked by law enforcement whether lobbying activities in 2020 had likely violated Foreign Agents Registration Act, (FARA), FBI stated in a 77 page search warrant application that it was aware of by the AP. 

“There is substantial evidence that these FARA violations were willful,”Babak Adib from the FBI said that he was referring specifically to a law that required foreign-interest workers to register with Justice Department and reveal their activities.

Following his leadership of NATO and US troops in Afghanistan during President Barack Obama’s presidency, the General took the top job at Brookings Institution in 2017. “behind the scenes”After a significant diplomatic dispute between Qatar and the Gulf Kingdom, Allen attempted to influence American policy towards Qatar. Allen misrepresented the lobbying, and failed to reveal that he was. “simultaneously pursuing multimillion-dollar business deals with the government of Qatar,”Adib also added.

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According to the AP the document that outlines the case against Allen “appears to have been filed in error,”However, he was removed on Tuesday from the docket after being asked by the outlet for comments from federal officials. Although the retired general refused to comment on the filing, he previously claimed that he was not a Qatari agent. A spokesperson for the AP recently stated that he “voluntarily cooperated with the government’s investigation into this matter.”

This probe of Allen is part of an ongoing investigation into Richard Olson. He was the US ambassador to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates between 2008-2015. Last week, Olson pleaded guilty to federal charges linked to lobbying for Qatar, demanding to know why Allen also hadn’t been indicted, as he claims to have worked closely with the general to sway US policy. Imaad Zuberi from Pakistan, an American businessman, was also charged in the scheme. In February, Zuberi received 12 years imprisonment. 

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Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a number of allied states broke diplomatic ties with Doha and closed their borders, airspace and waters to the country in 2017, citing Qatar’s alleged ties to terrorist groups and warmer relations with Iran. After Riyadh agreed with several partners to start a reconciliation process, under an agreement between the US and Kuwaiti, the crisis was mostly resolved in early 2017. The impact of the lobbying done by Allen, Zuberi and Olson on American policies toward Qatar during the spat is not clear.

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