DOJ closes investigation into retired general accused of secretly lobbying for Qatar

Marine Gen. John Allen, then the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 20, 2012. A former high-ranking U.S. ambassador admitted Friday, June 3, 2022, to illegal foreign lobbying on behalf of Qatar after demanding that prosecutors tell him why Allen, a retired four-star general who worked with him on the effort, has not been charged. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dropped a criminal investigation into retired four-star Marine Gen. John Allen, who was accused of lobbying on behalf of the Middle Eastern nation Qatar.

Allen’s attorney, David Schertler, said in a statement he was informed by the DOJ’s National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in central California that the case was closed with no criminal charges brought against the retired general.

“We are pleased that General Allen can now resume his life of service to his country without the cloud of any criminal investigation hanging over him,” Schertler said.

Allen, who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan before his retirement, was accused of attempting to influence U.S. policy to help Qatar in 2017, when diplomatic relations with neighboring countries broke down.

According to an FBI affidavit, Allen traveled to Qatar and met with top officials and promoted the nation’s position to the White House and Congress.

The affidavit, which was apparently filed in error and reported on in June by The Associated Press, said there was “substantial evidence” Allen broke foreign lobbying laws.

Allen resigned as president of the Brookings Institution, a position he had held since 2017, after the affidavit was revealed.

No charges were ever filed against Allen and he has denied any wrongdoing.

Schertler said his client’s trip to Qatar was intended to “benefit United States and particularly the United States service personnel stationed in Qatar whose lives were at risk from a potential military conflict.”

“It is deeply unfortunate, unfair and contrary to law that General Allen’s reputation and livelihood were wrongly damaged by the public release of confidential grand jury information,” his attorney said in the statement.

Tags David Schertler Department of Justice John Allen John Allen Marines Pentagon

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