Retired Gen. John Allen quits as president of Brookings Establishment amid FBI probe of his potential unlawful lobbying for Qatar


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 suppose 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 stated.

A retired four-star Marine basic 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.

Key Speakers At The International Economic Forum Of The Americas Conference Of Montreal
John Allen, then-president of The Brookings Establishment, speaks throughout the Worldwide Financial Discussion board Of The Americas (IEFA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on June 11, 2019.

Christinne Muschi / Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

Brookings, which had put Allen on administrative leave the day after the AP’s preliminary report, issued a press release thanking Allen for guiding the suppose tank via the coronavirus pandemic and different contributions. The establishment stated details about the seek for a brand new president could 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 stated in an affidavit in assist of a search warrant there was “substantial proof” that Allen had knowingly damaged a international lobbying legislation 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 the way to affect U.S. coverage, in addition to selling Qatar’s perspective 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 prices earlier this month, and Imaad Zuberi, a prolific political donor now serving a 12-year jail sentence on corruption prices. A number of members of Congress have additionally been interviewed.

Brookings, one of the crucial prestigious suppose 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 accordance with current tax data.

“The integrity and objectivity of Brookings’s scholarship represent the establishment’s principal property, and Brookings seeks to keep up excessive moral requirements in all its operations,” the suppose tank stated 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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