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GOP fundraiser Broidy pleads guilty to conspiracy charge in foreign lobbying effort

(CNN) Elliott Broidy, a top Republican fundraiser involved in President Donald Trump's 2016 inaugural committee, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy relating to a secret lobbying campaign to influence the Trump administration on behalf of a foreign billionaire in exchange for millions of dollars.

Broidy was charged earlier this month with conspiracy for failing to register and disclose his role in a lobbying effort aimed at stopping a criminal investigation into massive fraud at a Malaysian investment fund and advocating for the removal of a Chinese billionaire living in the US.

Broidy, who pleaded guilty in a cooperation deal with prosecutors, will forfeit $6.6 million.

According to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, who read portions of the plea agreement during a virtual hearing, prosecutors will not bring charges against Broidy in connection with a separate Middle East effort.

At sentencing, per the agreement, prosecutors will present information about Broidy's efforts "to obtain business from a Middle Eastern country and your client's efforts to influence US policy towards a second Middle Eastern country in its alleged support of terrorist activities," the judge said.

Broidy has worked for the United Arab Emirates and has been an outspoken critic of Qatar.

Broidy faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison, but will likely face a lower term of imprisonment when he is sentenced. The judge set Broidy's sentencing for February 12.

Prosecutors alleged in court filings that Broidy and his cohorts' goal was to "make millions of dollars by leveraging Broidy's access to and perceived influence with the President and his administration." Broidy was paid $9 million, a prosecutor said, and had an additional arrangement for a success fee as high as $75 million, which he never received. Broidy said he paid one of his co-conspirators $2.4 million.

As part of the scheme Broidy sought to arrange a golf game between the Malaysian prime minister and Trump to enable the Malaysian leader to bring up the criminal investigation, according to prosecutors. No golf game ever occurred but the prime minister did meet with Trump, the prosecutor said. Broidy also met with Trump and falsely told his co-conspirators that he had raised the investigation with Trump, prosecutors added.

In addition, prosecutors said Broidy drafted a memo to the US attorney general to try seek the removal of the Chinese billionaire living in the US. That lobbying effort was also not successful.

This story has been updated with additional information from the hearing.