US Republican fundraiser and a close associate of President Donald Trump, Elliott Broidy, has filed a new lawsuit against an executive of the public relations firm Mercury Public Affairs, which receives direct support from Qatar, over a criminal conspiracy to send his hacked emails to prominent media, POLITICO newspaper reported.
The complaint paints the fullest picture to date of an alleged globe-spanning conspiracy by the government of Qatar to hack the former GOP official’s email and provide damaging information about him to publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Associated Press.
The suit, reported first by POLITICO, could have implications for the future of political warfare at a time when it is increasingly waged through “hack-and-leak” campaigns like the one that targeted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Two previous suits Broidy filed over the hacking have been dismissed on technical grounds, but not before Broidy used discovery to obtain more information about the alleged scheme.
The new complaint cites phone records to back up its charge that Gregory Howard, a onetime Democratic congressional aide who worked as an agent of Qatar for the Washington communications firm Conover & Gould before taking a job with Mercury, coordinated the dissemination of Broidy’s stolen emails to reporters at outlets including the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.