Per a report from Politico, an extensive list of witnesses is being prepared for the trial, in which Michel is facing federal charges of conspiracy and falsifying records as part of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. DiCaprio’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, which was directed by Martin Scorsese, was allegedly partially funded by money fraudulently acquired from 1MDB.
The 47-year-old actor previously gave secret testimony to a Washington, D.C. grand jury for his reported involvement in the scandal in 2019. It’s possible that he could answer questions about the alleged connection between the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and 1MDB, which was systematically embezzled of millions by multiple perpetrators, but chiefly by alleged mastermind Jho Low.
Michel allegedly had ties to Jho Low, who has been accused of stealing a total of $4.5 billion. Authorities have asserted that Michel transferred a significant amount of funds from Low into the 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign. In 2019, Michel pleaded not guilty to the charges, but he was hit with further charges in June 2021 after he allegedly engaged in a back channel campaign to pressure the Trump administration to drop its investigation into Low and 1MDB. It’s that The Fugees were forced to cancel their reunion tour due to the federal charges.
Other potential witnesses on the list include Trump’s former White House chief of staff John Kelly, his national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger. The government is also potentially looking to seek testimony from RNC deputy finance chair and lobbyist Elliott Broidy, who was pardoned by Trump in 2021 after he pleaded guilty to his involvement in the 1MDB scandal in 2020.