A retired and very highly decorated four-star general has officially resigned from his position as the head of Brookings Institution, a large liberal think tank, this past Sunday just as the FBI begins its investigations into a scheme about extensive foreign lobbying.
John Allen, a former Marine General who in his role as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command from 2008 to 2011 led both NATO and U.S. forces across Afghanistan, is currently being investigated for allegedly issuing false statements to officials about his alleged efforts to try and lobby for the U.S. on behalf of Qatar. The FBI took quite a bit of electronic data from Allen just last week, as reported by the Associated Press also last week.
“I know it is best for all concerned in this moment,” Allen stated via a letter to the group in which he claimed he was leaving with a “heavy heart.”
BREAKING: Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, president of the Brookings Institution, has resigned amid a federal investigation into whether he illegally lobbied on behalf of the wealthy Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. https://t.co/nRTcEXCDq2
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 12, 2022
As of writing, Allen has not yet been charged with any crimes possibly in connection with the investigation.
Just the day after the Associated Press issued their report on the investigation last week, Bookings chose to put Allen on indefinite administrative leave. The think tank, which is based out of Washington and was founded in 1916 and conducts intense research into economic policy and development and states that its mission is to strengthen American democracy, put out its own statement to its staffers in the wake of ALlen stepping down.
“We want to thank John for his contributions to Brookings, including his leadership in successfully guiding the institution during the pandemic, as well as his many years of service and sacrifice for our country,” stated Glenn Hutchins and Suzanne Nora Johnson, the co-chairs of the Board of Trustees, via an acquired internal email.
“The integrity and objectivity of Brookings’s scholarship constitute the institution’s principal assets, and Brookings seeks to maintain high ethical standards in all its operations,” stated the email, additionally. “Our policies on research independence and integrity reflect these values.”
As stated in recent court filings, the Department of Justice talked about the details of Allen’s alleged hidden efforts to assist Qatar in influencing U.S. policy back in June of 2018 when an extreme diplomatic crisis spawned between Qatar and its neighbors. One FBI agent stated via an affidavit that was used to support the acquisition of a search warrant that there was “substantial evidence” that Allen knowingly broke a law about foreign lobbying, made knowingly false statements to federal investigators, and tried to hide “incriminating” documents.
Brookings, which managed to gather well over $85 million in 2020 and sports an endowment of well over a quarter-billion dollars, was accused via a 2014 New York Times investigation into the possible taking of money from foreign governments such as Norway while attempting to lobby American government officials for them. Via the same report, the Times stated that Qatar was Brookings’ “single biggest foreign donor,” having given a $14.8 million, four-year contribution back in 2013.
Allen was then set up at the head in 2017.