Brookings is furloughing its leader, John Allen, amid an FBI investigation

ISAF Commander General John R. Allen briefs the Pentagon media

Then-General John Allen of the US Marine Corp. addresses the media in the Pentagon briefing room on May 23, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia.

The Brookings Institution placed its president, the retired US general John Allenon administrative leave on Wednesday after an Associated Press report was released that the FBI was investigating his foreign lobbying activities.

“John Allen has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately,” the think tank told its staff in an email verified by Law&Crime.

His vice president Ted Gayer is now acting president until his previously announced departure, which the email says will occur later this summer.

Earlier in the day, the AP reported that federal agents had seized Allen’s electronic records. The report, quoted from an affidavit that alleges the retired general made false statements and withheld “incriminating” documents about illegal foreign lobbying for Qatar.

Allen led US and NATO forces in Afghanistan before becoming head of Brookings, an influential Washington-based think tank, in 2017.

The nonprofit’s public tax returns show that he raised more than $1 million from the organization in 2020.

According to the AP, the FBI’s investigation into Allen sprang from another that was lured into a trap Richard G Olsona former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan who admitted making false financial disclosures and helping a foreign government in a federal court last week.

Olson’s statement of insult in this case alluded to a retired general but did not specifically name Allen.

“On or about June 6, 2017, the defendant engaged in lobbying to persuade the US government to assist Qatar in its efforts to resist a blockade imposed by its neighbors,” the statement said. submitted last Friday. “Defendant’s assistance included the recruitment of a retired US general (the ‘General’) to work with Defendant Olson to provide assistance and advice to Qatari government officials with a view to reshaping US foreign policy in relation to the Gulf diplomatic crisis influence.”

“On June 6, 2017, as part of his efforts to assist the Qatari government, the defendant recruited the general, who was working at a Washington DC think tank, to gain his support for the endeavor,” the five-page statement continued . “On June 7, 2017, the defendant met with the General, a third party, and others at a Washington, DC hotel, with the General explaining how he would conduct the lobbying and public relations campaign. On June 8, 2017, the third party agreed to pay the expenses of the defendant and the general to travel to Doha to meet with the Emir and government officials of Qatar. At the time, the defendant was being paid $20,000 per month for providing services to the third party. The third agreed to pay the general a fee for his efforts.”

Three days later, Olson said, he and the general met with the Emir of Qatar and other officials from his government.

“The defendant and the general informed Qatari government officials that they had not traveled to Qatar as private individuals on behalf of the US government, but noted that they had connections with US government officials that enabled them to travel to Qatar help,” the statement reads. “During the meetings, the general advised Qatari government officials to accept US involvement in resolving the crisis, accept President Trump’s offer of mediation, sign a pending agreement to purchase US F-15 fighter jets and the US air force base Al Udeid to use Qatar as leverage to influence US government officials.”

As President of Brookings, Allen decided in early 2019 that the institution would not renew funding from Qatar and would close the Brookings Doha Center, the institution said.

Read Olson’s statement of insult below.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected] Brookings is furloughing its leader, John Allen, amid an FBI investigation

James Brien

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