Trump ally accused of being an agent for the UAE

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The chairman of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural commission was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to influence Trump’s foreign policy positions in favor of the United Arab Emirates and committing crimes that are “at the heart of our democracy.” ” to beat.

Tom Barrack, 74, of Santa Monica, California, was one of three men charged in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, with conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent while attempting foreign policy. influence while Trump was in power in 2016 and later he was president.

Barrack was charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal law enforcement officers. Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, of the United Arab Emirates were also charged in a seven-point suit in Brooklyn federal court.

The defendants repeatedly took advantage of Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate ultimately elected president, senior campaign and government officials, and the U.S. media to further the policy goals of a foreign government without revealing their true allegiances. acting assistant attorney. General Mark Lesko said in a release.

Prosecutors said Barrack not only agreed to advance UAE foreign policy interests through his unique access and influence, but also provided UAE government officials with sensitive information about developments within the Trump administration — including how senior U.S. officials thought. on the Qatari blockade by the UAE and other countries in the Middle East.

Worse, in his communications with Al Malik, the defendant framed his efforts to secure an official position in the government as a position that would allow him to further advance the interests of the UAE, rather than the interests of the United States,” prosecutors wrote. .

Barak will plead innocent, according to a spokesperson.

“Mr. Barrack has voluntarily made himself available to the detectives from the start,” the spokesman said.

Grimes was also arrested in California on Tuesday. A message for comment has been sent to his lawyer. The whereabouts of the third defendant were not immediately clear.

Barrack was due to appear at a first appearance in federal court in Southern California, where prosecutors would ask a U.S. magistrate to take him to New York.

Noting that Forbes estimates his fortune at $1 billion and his access to a private jet, prosecutors called him “an extraordinarily rich and powerful individual with substantial ties to Lebanon, the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” who poses a serious flight risk in a his appearance letter submitted.

Prosecutors also want Grimes to be held without bail.

In his release, Lesko described the alleged behavior as “nothing short of betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former president.”

Barrack is the latest in a long line of Trump associates to face criminal charges, including his former campaign chairman, his former vice campaign chairman, his former chief strategist, his former national security official, his former personal attorney and his company’s longtime chief financial officer.

(AP)