The GOP mogul didn’t just get rich off defense contracts in the Middle East in 2017. He also scored a record haul for his company from the Pentagon.
At the same time Elliott Broidy was cashing in on his access to President Trump by pitching him on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he was also receiving the biggest payouts in the history of his company from the U.S. government.
Monday, the Associated Press reported on the months-long 2017 lobbying effort carried out by Broidy and George Nader that brought the pair close to securing nearly $1 billion in contracts with the Saudis and the Emiratis in exchange for lobbying against their enemy, Qatar. Also during the pair’s lobbying blitz in the fall of 2017, Broidy’s company received its largest payouts to date from the federal government on contracts it had been seeking to secure for years, The Daily Beast has learned.
The company, a Virginia-based security firm called Circinus LLC, is owned by Broidy and has secured at least $800 million in foreign defense contracts since Trump took office. All of those payouts came after Broidy reportedly worked his contacts in D.C.—including Trump—to advocate for positions favorable to the countries that Circinus now lists as clients.
In addition to its newfound international fortune, Circinus received Defense Department payments totalling more than $4 million in August and September 2017, the largest in the company’s history, a review of available contracts found.
(Two months later, Broidy funneled almost $200,000 into Michael Cohen’s bank accounts to pay off a Playboy model Broidy had impregnated, according to financial documents leaked to The New Yorker last week. The model received $1.6 million for her silence and Broidy resigned from his position with the RNC in the ensuing public relations fallout.)
Circinus, formed in 2001, has been bidding on contracts with the Pentagon since 2011, but has had limited success. Prior to 2017, Circinus had been paid a total of just $7,501 for its work on various defense contracts. Then, in August 2017 it finally received $3.9 million for a contract it had begun bidding on in 2013 with the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM). The INSCOM contract—which is for unidentified intelligence services—nearly doubled the company’s income for the year. The following month, Circinus received $242,011 from the Defense Security Service for a separate contract.
The INSCOM contract was made possible thanks to a 2015 Government Accountability Office decision to quash a protest over the bidding process brought by one of Circinus’ competitors. Other administrative changes to the contract pushed back the payment date to Aug. 18, 2017.
INSCOM did not respond to a request for comment regarding the payment or details of the contract. Representatives of Circinus could not be reached for comment and the company’s website was taken down some time after Feb. 8, according to the Internet Archive. An attorney for Broidy and his wife did not return a request for comment.
Circinus has seen a boon in business since Trump took office. In addition to the more than $4 million in U.S. defense contracts it inked in late 2017, Broidy’s company has secured a reported $200 million in deals with the state-owned Romanian defense company Romarm. That’s in addition to the $600 million contract Broidy secured with the UAE, which came after two Oval Office meetings with Trump in late 2017 where Broidy lobbied the president on several fronts favorable to the Emiratis.
The Romanian contracts came after Broidy gave “unsolicited input” to Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican who serves as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, just before Royce visited Romania in August 2017. Documents obtained by McClatchy appear to show that Broidy was in Romania at the same time. Broidy also worked Royce on behalf of the Saudis and Emiratis, claiming he had “shifted” the lawmaker into “being critical of Qatar,” the AP reported on Monday.
Royce—who received the maximum legal campaign contribution from Broidy—eventually backed legislation critical of Qatar.
Broidy’s personal emails, hacked and shared with several media outlets in February, show that the fall of 2017 was a particularly busy time for him—and not just because Circinus had received the biggest government payouts in its history.