White House pulls ambassador-nominee to the Netherlands accused of drunk driving

Timothy M. Broas

Timothy M. Broas

by Linda Housman

June 30, 2012 – American lawyer Timothy M. Broas will not be the new ambassador to the Netherlands, the White House announced on Thursday night.

The White House gave no reason for the move. A spokesperson said the Washington attorney “withdrew his nomination for personal reasons” and declined to comment further.

But according to iWatch News, Broas’ nomination has been withdrawn “following charges of drunk driving and resisting arrest in suburban Maryland earlier last week”:

Court records show that Broas, 58, was pulled over by police on June 19 at 1:18 AM on Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase and charged with “attempting to drive [a] vehicle while under the influence of alcohol”.

He was ticketed for driving 47 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. He also faces a criminal charge of resisting arrest, according to Montgomery County District Court records.

After the news came out, a spokesman of the former ambassador-nominee confirmed to Dutch RTL News journalist Erik Mouthaan the White House has withdrawn the nomination of Broas after he was arrested for drunk driving, Mouthaan writes on his Twitter page on Friday.

“After RTL broke the news about Tim Broas not becoming ambassador in the Netherlands, the man himself can’t be reached, he avoids our calls. #exciting”, he writes in Dutch.

A trial date has been set in Rockville, Md., for August 6, reports iWatch News.

The nomination of Timothy Broas as the next Ambassador to the Netherlands was announced by President Obama on April 26. The day after, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Mr. Broas is one of 117 Obama bundlers and has raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts. During Obama’s campaign in 2008, Broas reportedly also raised between $200,000 and $500,000.

On June 19, 2012, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cleared Broas’ nomination and his name was sent to the full Senate for a vote.

Broas, a partner in the litigation department of the Washington law firm of Winston & Strawn who specializes in white-collar criminal defense, securities litigation and congressional investigations, said in his testimony during the nomination hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he pledged “to devote all my energy to represent the United States to the best of my ability”:

All of you know well of the United States’ long and strong relationship with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The United Provinces of the Netherlands was the second nation to officially recognize the United States when the Dutch government accepted the credentials of U.S. Minister John Adams on April 19, 1782. Since then, the Netherlands has remained one of our oldest and most reliable diplomatic partners. […] I will work tirelessly to maintain and improve our strong economic and trade relations with the Netherlands, consistent with the Administration’s goals to increase exports and create new jobs.

Chairman John Kerry praised him by saying that “Mr Broas comes to us from a long and very distinguished career in the private practice of the law” and that his is “one of the best lawyers of America”. He called Broas’ ambassadorship to the Netherlands extraordinary good news as Broas will take the post in The Hague “because the Dutch refer to themselves as the international legal capital of the world.”

Broas, who declared he had “invoked the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in The Hague during his legal career on behalf of American clients seeking to recover property and funds confiscated in 1979 by the Iranian regime”, used his June 13 testimony to drum up more anti-Iran rhetoric:

That same Iranian regime is now threatening to upend worldwide peace and stability in its attempt to obtain nuclear weapons and threaten the security of its neighbors. The international community has united to impose sanctions on the Iranian government and our European partners are crucial to this effort.

If confirmed, I will work tirelessly to ensure that our Dutch allies remain shoulder to shoulder with us as we strive to hold Iran to its international obligations. The Netherlands has risen to the global security challenges of our time and joined with the United States and other countries as an active contributor to international security missions.

For example, the Netherlands contributes to the NATO mission in Afghanistan and currently provides the flagship for NATO’s counter-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa. The Netherlands has also participated in the Alliance’s Libya mission. We remain thankful for Dutch commitment to these missions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands on Friday said to wait for a new nomination from the White House. Until then, Edwin Nolan who has been Chargé d’Affaires ad interim since September 2011 and Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy The Hague since January 2010 will fill the post.

Categories: Netherlands

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