In this Oct. 28, 2013 file photo, former U.S. Attorney General under President George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, attends the installation ceremony of James Comey as FBI director, in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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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.Qatar hiring Ashcroft, who was attorney general during the Sept. 11 attacks and helped push through the Patriot Act, appeared aimed to appease Washington as several Gulf states try to isolate it. Officials in Qatar, home to a major U.S. military base, and Ashcroft's firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Qatar denies supporting terrorist organizations, but Western officials have regularly accused Qatar's government of allowing or even encouraging the funding of some Sunni extremists.Hiring U.S. firms to lobby American lawmakers is nothing new for the Gulf.
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