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FBI investigating retired Marine Gen. John Allen over Qatar lobbying accusations

FBI investigating retired Marine Gen. John Allen over Qatar lobbying accusations
Former U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen is being investigated by the FBI over accusations he lied to investigators about his involvement in lobbying for the Qatar government starting in 2017, according to court documents published Wednesday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 8 (UPI) -- Former Marine Gen. John Allen is being investigated by the FBI over accusations he lied to investigators about his involvement in lobbying the Qatar government, according to court documents.

An affidavit filed in Federal Court in California names Allen and three other men, and alleges they secretly lobbied on behalf of the Qatari government and later lied about their roles, according to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

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One of the three other men named in the search warrant application to access electronic records, is former U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and to Pakistan, Richard G. Olson.

Another is Imaad Shah Zuberi, the California venture capitalist was sentenced in 2021 to 144 months in federal prison.

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Zuberi was jailed for falsifying records to conceal his work as a foreign agent while lobbying high-level U.S. government officials, evading millions of dollars in tax payments, making illegal campaign contributions, and obstructing a federal investigation into the source of donations to a presidential inauguration committee, according to Justice Department records.

Allen, who once commanded all American troops in Afghanistan, has been president of the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institute since 2017. The think tank's website now lists Allen's status as "on leave."

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The institute had not issued a statement as of 6 pm ET Wednesday.

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In 2017, Allen is accused of lobbying U.S. officials on behalf of Qatar, violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, according to the documents.

"As requested by Qatari government officials, Allen corresponded with, met with, and successfully lobbied U.S. Executive Branch officials in the United States to release public statements sought by Qatar. Allen also solicited Executive Branch officials to meet personally with Qatari government officials," the search warrant application states.

"In response to the (diplomatic) crisis, Zuberi, Olson, and Allen advised and aided Qatari government officials. Zuberi, Olson, and Allen met with Rumaihi, Qatar's Foreign Minister, and the brother of Qatar's Emir (Head of State) in the United States. Olson and Allen met with the Emir, the Qatari Foreign Minister, and other senior Qatari government leaders in Doha, Qatar. The primary focus of these discussions was to help the Qatari government determine what support it should seek from the U.S. government and how that support could be obtained."

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Allen did it while "simultaneously pursuing multi-million dollar business deals with the government of Qatar," violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Allen has not yet been charged.

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