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Tom Barrack, LA billionaire and Trump ally, accused of acting as an agent of the UAE U


Thomas J. Barrack, Jr., the chairman of former President Trump’s inaugural committee and a prominent Southern California businessman and philanthropist, was arrested Tuesday on federal charges that he and others were part of a years-long effort to change foreign policy. Trump as a candidate and later president, all to the benefit of the United Arab Emirates.

Barrack, 74, and two other men were charged in a federal court in New York with acting as unregistered foreign agents of the UAE as of spring 2016. The indictment describes the trio as “charged” by four UAE officials : influencing public opinion through media appearances; shaping the foreign policy positions of the campaign and later the Trump administration; and developing “a back-channel line of communication” with the US government.

Barrack was also charged with obstructing justice and making several false statements in a 2019 interview with federal agents.

One of Barrack’s actions in favor of the UAE, according to the indictment, was to publish an Op-Ed in Fortune magazine that relied on “feedback” from foreign officials and made several media appearances that criticized the policies of the UAE. Promote Gulf State. After a television appearance in July 2016 where Barrack repeatedly praised the UAE, he sent a message to another man accused of the alleged conspiracy, boasting, “I made it happen…for the home team.”

The indictment alleges that Barrack’s work had a direct impact on Trump’s behavior, including a 2016 speech promising to work with “our Gulf allies” and a phone call Trump had as president with an unidentified leader of the UAE.

Barrack — who was arrested Tuesday morning at one of his business premises in Sylmar, according to an FBI spokeswoman — was set to appear in a federal courtroom downtown later in the day.

“Mr. Barrack has volunteered to be available to the detectives from the beginning,” said a statement from the longtime spokesperson for Barrack. “He is not guilty and will plead not guilty.”

Announcing the high-profile prosecution, federal officials said Barrack and others had made covert attempts to influence the Trump administration’s actions and decisions.

“The defendants repeatedly took advantage of Barrack’s friendships and access to a eventually elected president, senior campaign and government officials, and the US media to further the policy goals of a foreign government without revealing their true allegiances,” Asst said. Atty. Gene. Mark Lesko said in a release.

“The conduct alleged in the indictment is nothing short of treason against those officials in the United States, including the former president.

A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barrack — who has a net worth of $1 billion, according to Forbes — has been friends with Trump for three decades and he planned the president’s inauguration in early 2017.

Barrack’s Los Angeles-based Colony Capital is a publicly traded investment company with $44 billion in assets under management that often gambles on distressed assets. For example, in 2008, Colony rescued Michael Jackson when the late singer’s Neverland Ranch was on the brink of foreclosure.

The grandson of Lebanese Christian immigrants, Barrack also has business ties to the Middle East — and a deep knowledge of its politics and cultures — dating back to the early 1970s, when he worked as a lawyer on a project in Saudi Arabia and then spent the next four years there as an adviser to the royal family.

At Colony Capital, Barrack has also tapped several Middle Eastern investors to help fund the company’s operations.

With partners from Qatar, Barrack was part of an investment group that bought Miramax Films in 2010, and later sold the studio to investors in Qatar. However, his dealings have been complicated since a 2017 blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


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