Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 October 2020

Qatar hires former US attorney general for $1,600 per hour

Michael Mukasey, who served under George W Bush for two years from 2007, will work for the Gulf state

Mr Mukasey is the second former US attorney general, following John Ashcroft, that Doha had hired during the last year. ABC News
Mr Mukasey is the second former US attorney general, following John Ashcroft, that Doha had hired during the last year. ABC News

With no end in sight to the Qatar crisis, the Gulf state has expanded its army of consultants and legal hires in the United States, adding Michael Mukasey, a former attorney general for president George W Bush, and Rudy Giuliani’s former chief of staff to its long list of contractors.

Documents released by the US government’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) recently revealed that Doha has hired Mr Mukasey and Tony Carbonetti, Mr Guiliani’s former aide, to help in its stand-off with the quartet states — Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — that have been boycotting Qatar since last June for reneging on its commitments in the Riyadh agreement of 2013.

The secret agreement, whose content was revealed last year, included a commitment from Qatar to stop support for the Muslim Brotherhood and to end support for “antagonistic media”.

One year later, with no settlement in the horizon, Qatar has embarked on a costly strategy to seek outside help in responding to the crisis and to rebrand its image.

Mr Mukasey is the second former US attorney general following John Ashcroft, that Doha had employed during the last year. According to Fara documents, Mr Mukasey, who served in the role between 2007 and 2009, is charging Doha, $1,600 an hour for his services. His foreign agent registration document can be viewed here:

Those services, explained in a letter to Qatar’s attorney general Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, aim to “advance legal arguments of its client [Qatar] in that dispute”.

The Fara registration, which is mandated by law, came 10 days after Bloomberg reported that Mr Marri hired Blueprint Advisers, headed by Mr Carbonetti and Chris Henick, who also worked for Mr Giuliani. “Blue Print will be paid $1.2 million for a year’s service”, according to Bloomberg.

Mr Mukasey’s hiring is part of a contract with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.

The new hirings by Qatar come as two other US consultants working with Doha abruptly quit last week, one provoked by pictures of the Qatari emir and controversial cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who has a long record of inciting violence.

Politico reported last week that Mort Klein and Joey Allaham have cut ties with Qatar. Also, Nick Muzin, a former adviser to Senator Ted Cruz, quit his advisory role for Qatar.

The Qatar embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment from The National.

Updated: June 12, 2018 09:53 AM

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