Trump Ally Tom Barrack Held in Jail on Illegal-Lobbying Charges

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Trump Ally Tom Barrack Held in Jail on Illegal-Lobbying Charges” – below is their description.

    Tom Barrack Jr., a former Trump fundraiser who was arrested on charges of illegally lobbying for the UAE, says he “paid a personal price” for “the gift and the opportunity to be next to a president of the United States.” In an interview last week, Barrack gave no sign tha he was aware of impending charges and talked confidently about his relationships in the UAE.

    Tom Barrack Jr., the founder of Colony Capital Inc. and a former top fund-raiser for Donald Trump, was arrested on charges of illegally lobbying for a foreign government, an allegation prosecutors have successfully brought against several other Trump associates.

    Barrack, 74, was arrested by federal agents on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. Two other men were also charged in the alleged scheme, in an indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

    The three engaged in unlawful efforts to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates in the U.S. at the direction of senior UAE officials, seeking to influence the foreign policy positions of the 2016 Trump campaign and then those of the new administration, according to prosecutors. Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements in a 2019 interview with U.S. law enforcement agents.

    Matthew Herrington, Barrack’s lawyer, said his client is innocent.

    “Tom Barrack made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset,” Herrington said in a statement. “He is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty today.”

    Prosecutors asked a U.S. magistrate judge in Los Angeles to keep Barrack, who is of Lebanese descent, in federal custody until he can be transported to Brooklyn to face the charges. They called him “an extremely wealthy and powerful individual with substantial ties to Lebanon, the UAE, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” who poses a risk of fleeing based on the seriousness of the charges and what they called “the overwhelming evidence of his guilt.” They said he has access to a private aircraft and “deep and longstanding ties to countries that do not have extradition treaties with the United States.”

    At an initial court appearance in Los Angeles, Barrack appeared on a fuzzy video link in a blue suit jacket, slightly slumped over and not looking into the camera for much of the session. The judge ordered him detained locally until a bail hearing on Monday.

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