Elliott Broidy, a former top fund-raiser for President Trump, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a covert campaign to influence the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.
Mr. Broidy, 63, agreed to forfeit $6.6 million to the federal government and to cooperate with prosecutors on a range of potential investigations related to his fellow conspirators and others.
The charge is a felony that could carry a prison sentence of up to five years, but his cooperation is likely to result in a lesser sentence. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.
Mr. Broidy’s guilty plea relates to his arrangement with the fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low, who was not identified by name in court filings or during the hearing on Tuesday.
Mr. Broidy admitted that he had accepted $9 million from Mr. Low, some of which was then paid to an associate, to push the Trump administration for the extradition of a Chinese dissident and to drop a case related to an embezzlement scheme from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund that the United States has accused Mr. Low of engineering.
He also admitted to meeting with a Chinese government official who was seeking the extradition of the dissident, who was not identified in court, but who is known to be the billionaire Guo Wengui, an outspoken critic of China who has been charged by its government with corruption and is seeking asylum in the United States.
Mr. Broidy did not disclose the foreign lobbying work with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but he knew that he should have, he told Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a virtual hearing.