Elliott Broidy, a key GOP donor with strong ties to the Trump White House, resigned as deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee on Friday amid revelations he paid a former Playboy model $1.6 million after she became pregnant during an affair.
The payment was negotiated in late 2017 by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who also serves on the RNC finance committee, according to The New York Times. Sources told CNBC that Cohen made $250,000 for brokering the deal.
Broidy, 62, paid the former Playboy model $1.6 million in installments over a two-year period, and has become the second member of the committee to resign in recent months. This past January, finance chairman, Steve Wynn, resigned following widespread accusations of sexual harassment, as Salon has previously reported.
“I acknowledge I had a consensual relationship with a Playboy Playmate,” Broidy said in a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal. “At the end of our relationship, this woman shared with me that she was pregnant. She alone decided that she did not want to continue with the pregnancy and I offered to help her financially during this difficult period.”
Broidy, a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist was a major donor for the Republican Party and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. He helped raise more than $108 million, the WSJ noted. He also served as a fundraiser for former President George W. Bush.
Knowledge of the agreement between Broidy and the former Playboy model, which was put together by Cohen, comes on the heels of an FBI raid on Monday of Cohen’s hotel room and his office. The purpose of the raid was that the FBI sought “among other things, business records, emails and documents relating to Mr. Cohen’s role in paid confidentiality agreements during the presidential campaign with two other women, who said they had had sexual relationships with Mr. Trump,” the Times noted.