DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Qatar has paid $2.5 million to the law firm of a former attorney general under U.S. President George W. Bush to audit its efforts at stopping terrorism funding, a matter at the heart of the Gulf diplomatic crisis that erupted last week.
John Ashcroft personally will lead his Washington-based firm’s efforts “to evaluate, verify and as necessary, strengthen the client’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing” compliance and potentially lobby lawmakers and the media, according to documents filed to the U.S. Justice Department.
Qatar hiring Ashcroft, who was attorney general during the Sept. 11 attacks and then helped push through the Patriot Act, appeared aimed at appeasing Washington as several Gulf nations try to isolate it. Officials in Qatar, home to a major U.S. military base, and Ashcroft’s firm did not immediately…
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