December 5, 2022

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Trump ally Barrack traded access for UAE money, prosecutors say as trial nears end By Reuters

Trump ally Barrack traded access for UAE money, prosecutors say as trial nears end By Reuters


© Reuters. Thomas Barrack, a billionaire buddy of Donald Trump who chaired the previous president’s inaugural fund, exits the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., Oct 3, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz


By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tom Barrack, a onetime private equity executive and fundraiser for Donald Trump, traded his obtain to the then-president for investments from the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. prosecutor said on Tuesday all through closing arguments in Barrack’s overseas agent demo.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn last yr billed Barrack with marketing the UAE’s passions to the Trump campaign and administration without informing the U.S. legal professional normal he was an agent, as demanded by legislation.

Abu Dhabi then invested $374 million from its sovereign prosperity cash with Barrack, prosecutors say.

“Mr. Barrack traded his political obtain for a lengthy-time period marriage with leading UAE officers … who managed large oil prosperity,” Ryan Harris, an assistant U.S. legal professional, told jurors on Tuesday. “In return, the UAE unlocked its purse strings.”

Barrack, the 75-year-old previous chair of Trump’s inaugural committee, has pleaded not guilty. He argues his interactions with Center Jap officers ended up component of his job functioning non-public equity organization Colony Funds (NYSE:), now known as DigitalBridge Group Inc.

His lawyers have been envisioned to give closing arguments afterwards on Tuesday.

Throughout the 6-week trial, federal prosecutors showed jurors hundreds of text messages and emails among Barrack, his former assistant and co-defendant Matthew Grimes, and a businessman named Rashid Al-Malik, whom prosecutors say acted as an intermediary amongst the two and UAE officials.

Grimes has pleaded not guilty. Al-Malik is at large.

Harris mentioned on Tuesday that Barrack handed along “insider info” about U.S. foreign coverage to UAE officials, and took Emirati enter about what he should say about the Middle East in tv interviews and feeling content.

Jurors previous month read prosecution testimony from former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said he was unaware of any job by Barrack in U.S. international coverage.

“How ended up the defendants in a position to work with impunity?” Harris reported. “Due to the fact they never instructed … general public officers billed with stopping overseas affect campaigns.”

Barrack himself took the stand past week, testifying that he never ever agreed to act at Abu Dhabi’s way or management. He also pointed to his help of UAE rival Qatar all through a 2017 blockade of that region by Center Jap neighbors as proof he was not promoting the UAE’s interests.