US media is reporting that US senators from both parties are continuing efforts to probe the relationship between Qatar and the Bookings Institution, a prominent and influential US think tank. According to the Mother Jones report:
September 22, 2022 Senators in both parties are taking aim at the Brookings Institution, demanding details on funding agreements that, according to the lawmakers, could have allowed foreign governments to secretly influence policy prescriptions produced by the renowned establishment think tank. The scrutiny follows the June resignation from Brookings of retired four-star general John Allen after news emerged that the Justice Department was investigating whether Allen violated foreign lobbying laws by advocating for Qatar while seeking payments from the Gulf state. The alleged lobbying occurred in 2017, while Allen, the former commander of US forces in Afghanistan, was a fellow at Brookings. Brookings listed Qatar as one of its top donors that year, with contributions of “$2,000,000 and above.” Brookings officials have said they did not know of Allen’s actions. Allen, who has not been charged with any crimes, denies that he acted as a Qatari agent. But the scandal has drawn attention to the think tank’s decades of ties to Qatar, as well as its funding from other countries. “Brookings Institution needs to fully disclose all of its funding agreements.” In a letter Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she has “significant concerns about agreements that Brookings has in place with foreign governments” and questioned if those deals undermine the organization’s independence. She asked Brookings to give her details of those agreements. “Foreign governments, billionaire corporations, and the super wealthy should not be able to hide behind think tanks to secretly peddle influence and shape policy, and the Brookings Institution needs to fully disclose all of its funding agreements or it risks undermining its reputation,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement to Mother Jones. Think tanks have long offered foreign states a sort of backdoor means to advocate for their interests in Washington.
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The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported in June on the US officials involved in an ongoing investigation into illegal lobbying on behalf of Qatar.