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Justice Department closes foreign lobbying investigation into retired Marine general without filing charges, attorney says

CNN 1/31/2023 Mary Kay Mallonee

The Justice Department has closed an investigation into whether retired Marine Gen. John Allen lobbied the US government on behalf of Qatar during the Trump administration without bringing any charges against him, according to his attorney.

“We have been informed by the Department of Justice National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California that the investigation of General John R. Allen (Ret.) has been closed and that no criminal charges will be brought against General Allen under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or any other law, based on, or as a result of General Allen’s trip to Qatar in June 2017 or the government’s investigation of those events,” attorney David Schertler told CNN in a statement Monday night.

CNN reported in June that Allen, a retired four-star general who led US and allied troops in Afghanistan, resigned as president of the Brookings Institution after a court filing showed the FBI had seized his electronic communications. The FBI’s search warrant in the court filing, which appeared to have been posted online by mistake, accused Allen of appearing to violate foreign lobbying laws and failing to provide emails related to the lobbying effort. Allen denied lobbying on behalf of Qatar.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California declined to comment.

CNN has also reached out to the Justice Department.

Schertler said in the statement that his client can “now resume his life of service to his country without the cloud of any criminal investigation hanging over him,” calling it “deeply unfortunate” that Allen’s “reputation and livelihood were wrongly damaged by the public release of confidential grand jury information.”

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