Qatar has hired John Ashcroft, the former attorney general under President George W. Bush who oversaw the war on terror's legal proceedings.
The decision to hire Ashcroft, who also previously served as a Missouri senator, comes after the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and several other Middle Eastern states accused Qatar of supporting terrorist efforts in the region.
President Trump escalated the Qatari government’s diplomatic crisis by also accusing it of funding terrorist organizations that aimed to destabilize the region.
Bloomberg first reported the big-name hire after Ashcroft's law firm filed a public form with the Justice Department. Lobbyists and attorneys in the United States are queried to disclose efforts conducted on behalf of foreign entities.
“The Firm’s work will include crisis response and management, program and system analysis, media outreach, education and advocacy regarding the Client’s historical, current, and future efforts to combat global terror and its compliance goals and accomplishments,” according to file issued on Friday.
Ashcroft will take the lead on the efforts, and the law firm will receive $2.5 million as a “flat fee” for the first 90 days of covering expenses, as well as to make the project a "top priority.”
The document says Ashcroft will "enlist the support and expertise of former key government leaders,” including those who once held "very senior positions" within the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community and both the departments of Treasury and Homeland Security “as necessary.”
The firm will additionally advise Qatar on “international financial regulations including compliance with United States Treasury rules and regulations.”