A retired four-star general lied to officials while lobbying on behalf of Qatar, the FBI said in a leaked filing
FILE PHOTO: Retired Marine General John Allen, then the top US commander in Afghanistan, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 20, 2012. © AP / J. Scott Applewhite
Former Marine Corps General John Allen could face criminal charges over his alleged role in an illegal lobbying campaign for the Qatari government, according to FBI documents obtained by the Associated Press. The filing indicates the high-ranking officer misled US authorities about the nature of his work and stood to personally gain from his dealings with Doha.
Allen provided a “false version of events” when interviewed by law enforcement about the lobbying efforts in 2020 and likely violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the FBI said in a 77-page search warrant application seen by the AP.
“There is substantial evidence that these FARA violations were willful,” wrote FBI agent Babak Adib, referring to a law requiring those working on behalf of foreign interests to register with the Justice Department and disclose their activities.
The general, who took up the top post at the Brookings Institution thinktank in 2017 after leading US and NATO forces in Afghanistan under President Barack Obama, worked “behind the scenes” to influence American policy in favor of Qatar following a major diplomatic spat between the Gulf kingdom and its neighbors in 2017. However, Allen misrepresented the lobbying and failed to disclose that he was “simultaneously pursuing multimillion-dollar business deals with the government of Qatar,” Adib added.