A US judge has dramatically ruled that a senior Qatari government official was involved in an alleged plot to bribe Donald Trump‘s former adviser Steve Bannon and boasted of disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn taking ‘our money’, Dailymail.com has revealed.
Ahmed Al-Rumaihi was accused in court documents earlier this year of planning to ‘bribe’ Bannon and bragging about paying off other Washington officials.
‘Do you think [former] National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn turned down our money?’ he is alleged to have said.
He also claimed that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen asked him for a personal payment of $1m in 2016 to push Qatari investments in the US.
Al-Rumaihi claimed he was not working for the Qatari government at the time of the alleged plot – which he denies – and was simply an investor on his own behalf.
The Qatari government tried to distance itself from him repeatedly issuing statements that ‘Al-Rumaihi has not represented the State of Qatar in official matters’ since March 2017, when he left his job as head of the US wing of the $100 billion Qatari Investment Authority (QIA).
But now a judge has ruled that is both untrue – and must be made public.
In a legal letter last month, Al-Rumaihi’s lawyers let slip that the investor had in fact been working for the Qatari government the whole time.
The letter, sent on July 31, states: ‘In March 2017, Mr. Al-Rumaihi was appointed member of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investments (‘SCEAI’), to which QIA reports, and he maintains that position today.’
The letter emphasizes Al-Rumaihi’s importance in the Qatari government, adding that the SCEAI is chaired by Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ruler of Qatar.
But DailyMail.com has revealed that, worried the Qatari government would be publicly caught in an apparent lie, Al-Rumaihi’s lawyers scrambled to get the letter sealed by a judge as part of a lawsuit in which the Qatari money man is currently embroiled.
His lawyers wrote to Judge Dolly Gee saying that they wanted to keep private ‘confidential, sensitive, and private non-public information regarding Mr. Al-Rumaihi’s personal affairs’.
But on Thursday the judge denied their request, leaving the Gulf official in a potentially embarrassing position.
Judge Gee is currently presiding over a $1.2bn lawsuit brought by rapper Ice Cube and his 3v3 basketball league Big 3 against Al-Rumaihi.
The rapper, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, alleges that Al-Rumaihi reneged on a commitment to fund Jackson’s fledgling league, which the Qatari denies.
After the bungle revealing Al-Rumaihi’s apparent continuing role in the Qatari government, Big 3’s lawyer, respected Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos, wrote to Judge Gee, saying the investor was ‘caught lying’ and ‘misled this Court and the public and stated he was a private citizen and businessman and not connected with the government’.
Geragos added: ‘If Mr Rumaihi’s existence and identity was a secret, Defendants could have moved to seal the complaint, they could have asserted diplomatic status or immunity, and at the very least, they did not have to deceive Plaintiffs, multiple courts, and the public that he was a private businessman.’
The revelations about the true nature of the investor’s government job have now raised suspicions that he was part of a Qatari campaign to influence the Trump administration.
In a deposition as part of the $1.2bn lawsuit, Big 3 co-founder and former Steve Bannon business partner Jeff Kwatinetz claimed that Al-Rumaihi boasted to him about paying off officials in Washington, and told him about his plan to ‘bribe’ Bannon.
He also claimed that Al-Rumaihi told him: ‘Do you think [former National Security Advisor General Michael] Flynn turned down our money?’
Al-Rumaihi denies the accusations.
Source – MailOnline.com