Sessions sought nominee recommendations from convicted fundraiser: report

Sessions sought nominee recommendations from convicted fundraiser: report
© Getty

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE reportedly sought recommendations for U.S. attorney nominees from a Republican donor who had been convicted in a political corruption case.

Sessions turned to Elliott Broidy, a top fundraiser for President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE's campaign, to give recommendations when looking for people to replace Obama administration holdovers in the Department of Justice, ProPublica reported Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

To send his recommendations, Broidy was given a private email address for the attorney general. He reportedly sent an email on Nov. 25, 2016, with a résumé attached.

“I have known Nathan J. Hochman for approximately 20 years and I highly recommend him for the position of United States Attorney for the Central District of California," said the email, addressed to Sessions.

Hochman reportedly was on a shortlist of finalists but was not ultimately chosen.

Broidy also put forth the recommendation of Jason Dunn to lead the federal prosecutor’s office in Colorado, but he was also not ultimately selected.

ProPublica reported that Broidy also recommended people to ambassadorships and other administration positions, some of whom were nominated. Andrei Iancu, who is the currently director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was reportedly recommended by Broidy.

Broidy said that he "gladly" recommends "good people to serve in important positions in our government."

He declined to specifically say he gave Sessions recommendations.

"They, like anyone, have to go through the normal vetting and background investigation process," he said. "I was honored to make recommendations in the past and would do so again for the right candidates."

In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty to giving about $1 million to New York state officials illegally so his company could land a $250 million contract with the state's public pension fund.

Matthew Miller, the top spokesman for Justice Department during the Obama administration, told ProPublica that recommendations come in from "all sorts of people in any administration."

"But for the attorney general himself to be soliciting any donor for recommendations would be far outside the bounds of how attorneys general operate,” he said.

“When you combine that with the fact that Broidy is a convicted felon who paid millions of dollars in fines in a bribery case less than 10 years ago, it shows really poor judgment from Sessions to be communicating with him at all about DOJ appointments.”

A New York Times report last month said Broidy pitched access to Trump after he was elected.

The Times reported that Broidy, the deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee, told clients and prospective customers of his defense contracting company that he could arrange meetings with Trump and administration officials.