Retired Marine Gen. John Allen Resigns from Brookings amid FBI Overseas Lobbying Probe

The president of the Brookings Establishment resigned Sunday amid a federal investigation into whether or not he illegally lobbied on behalf of the rich Persian Gulf nation of Qatar.

Retired Gen. John Allen wrote in a letter to the assume tank that he was leaving with a “heavy coronary heart” however didn’t provide a direct clarification.

“I do know it’s best for all involved on this second,” Allen’s letter mentioned.

A retired four-star Marine normal who led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Allen’s announcement got here lower than every week after the Related Press was first to report on new court docket filings that confirmed the FBI had seized Allen’s digital information as a part of the lobbying probe.

Allen has not been charged with any crimes and, via a spokesman, has denied any wrongdoing.

Brookings, which had put Allen on administrative go away the day after the AP’s preliminary report, issued an announcement thanking Allen for guiding the assume tank via the coronavirus pandemic and different contributions. The establishment mentioned details about the seek for a brand new president can be forthcoming.

The brand new court docket filings element Allen’s behind-the scenes efforts to assist Qatar affect U.S. coverage in June 2017 when a diplomatic disaster erupted between the gas-rich Persian Gulf monarchy and its neighbors.

An FBI agent mentioned in an affidavit in help of a search warrant there was “substantial proof” that Allen had knowingly damaged a international lobbying regulation, and had made false statements and withheld “incriminating” paperwork.

Allen’s alleged lobbying work concerned touring to Qatar and assembly with the nation’s prime officers to supply them recommendation on how one can affect U.S. coverage, in addition to selling Qatar’s viewpoint to prime White Home officers and members of Congress, the FBI’s affidavit says.

The federal investigation involving Allen has already ensnared Richard G. Olson, a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan who pleaded responsible to federal fees earlier this month, and Imaad Zuberi, a prolific political donor now serving a 12-year jail sentence on corruption fees. A number of members of Congress have additionally been interviewed.

Brookings, one of the prestigious assume thanks within the U.S., had initially employed Allen as a senior fellow earlier than tapping him as president in late 2017 and paying him greater than $1 million a 12 months, in line with current tax information.

“The integrity and objectivity of Brookings’s scholarship represent the establishment’s principal belongings, and Brookings seeks to take care of excessive moral requirements in all its operations,” the assume tank mentioned in its assertion Sunday.

Qatar has lengthy been a significant monetary backer of Brookings, although Allen determined in 2019 to cease taking any new donations from the nation.

Qatari officers haven’t responded to requests for remark concerning the Allen investigation.

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