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Trump Official Helped Broidy Arrange Meetings Between Senators, African Leaders

A current State Department official helped a top fundraiser for President Trump arrange meetings with U.S. senators and officials from the African country of Angola in 2017, without either of them registering as “foreign agents” for their assistance of foreign officials, ProPublica reported.

Aryeh Lightstone helped arrange meetings between U.S. senators, prominent Angolan government officials and Trump megadonor Elliott Broidy in January 2017, according to emails read by ProPublica. That August, Lightstone was appointed as a senior adviser to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Angola paid Broidy’s company $6 million for intelligence services in January 2017, according to the emails and Broidy’s lawyer, who told ProPublica that “there certainly were no policy-related discussions.” The emails also reveal that Lightstone helped plan the meetings, which were in Washington.

Work for foreign governments must be reported under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, according to the Justice Department. Some legal experts told ProPublica that Lightstone and Broidy should have registered, as the meeting had a political agenda. They would have been required to report details of their activities. Representatives for both men denied it was necessary for them to register.

Broidy has been the forefront of several scandals recently. It was reported that he and his business partner used their access to the president to win lucrative contracts with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Broidy stepped down from his role as Republican National Committee deputy finance chair after it came to light that he agreed to pay Playboy model Shera Bechard $1.6 million in exchange for her silence about their alleged affair. He later called off the deal, claiming she breached their nondisclosure agreement.

In August, the Justice Department began investigating whether Broidy was abusing his proximity to the Trump administration to make deals with foreign officials, the Washington Post reported. Broidy denied the allegation.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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