The retired four-star general in charge of the Brookings Institution resigned on Sunday after he was implicated in a foreign lobbying scheme.
Former Marine Gen. John Allen is under investigation for allegedly making false statements to authorities about his role in lobbying on behalf of Qatar. The FBI seized Allen’s electronic data, according to the Associated Press, which referred to court filings revealed last week.
Allen had led the Brookings Institution since 2017.
A spokesperson for the Brookings Institution confirmed Allen’s resignation to the Washington Examiner on Sunday.
“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,“ co-chairs of the Board of Trustees Glenn Hutchins and Suzanne Nora Johnson said in an email to staffers.
“Ted Gayer will continue to serve as Acting President until his previously announced departure later this summer. Information about arrangements for ongoing interim management — as well as the search for a new President — will be forthcoming,” they added. “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. Our policies on research independence and integrity reflect these values.”
Allen was placed on administrative leave last Wednesday following the news of the investigation.
Allen is part of a larger investigation that has taken down Richard Olson, a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, who pleaded guilty last week on federal charges that included improperly helping Qatar influence U.S. policy in 2017. Imaad Zuberi, a venture capitalist and campaign fundraiser who sought to gain influence with prominent Republicans and Democrats, including former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, is also ensnared in the Qatar lobbying effort.
The documents indicate the FBI believes Allen carried out secret lobbying work connected to the government of Qatar, misled agents about the role he played, and did not hand over evidence sought in subpoenas.
FBI agent Babak Adib wrote in a search warrant application, “There is substantial evidence that these FARA violations were willful,” referring to possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires that people lobbying for a foreign government register with the Justice Department.
Allen previously served as the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East (including Qatar) and elsewhere, from 2008 to 2011.