NEW YORK — The chairman of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration committee was arrested Tuesday on charges he used to influence Trump’s foreign policy position to benefit the United Arab Emirates and “our at the very heart of democracy” conspired to commit a crime.
Tom Barracks, 74, of Santa Monica, Calif., was one of three men charged in federal court in Brooklyn, NY with conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent as he tried to influence foreign policy, While Trump was running in 2016 and later. President.
Barracks was charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during an interview with federal law enforcement agents in June 2019. Also charged in a seven-count indictment in Brooklyn federal court were Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahi, 43, of the United Arab Emirates.
Defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendship and access to a candidate who would ultimately pursue the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiance to the president, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media. was selected,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said in a news release.
Prosecutors said the barracks not only agreed to promote UAE foreign policy interests through its unique reach and influence, but also provided UAE government officials with sensitive information about developments within the Trump administration – including How senior US officials feel about the Qatari blockade organized by the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries.
Prosecutors wrote, “Worse, in his communication with Al Malik, the defendant framed his efforts to obtain an official position within the administration, which would allow him to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates rather than the interests of the United States.” will enable.” .
According to a spokesperson, Barracks will plead not guilty.
“Mr. C. Barracks has voluntarily made himself available to investigators from the very beginning,” the spokesperson said.
Grimes was arrested in California on Tuesday. A message was sent to his lawyer seeking comment. The whereabouts of the third defendant was not immediately clear.
Barracks was to appear in a preliminary appearance in federal court in Southern California, where prosecutors had to ask a US magistrate judge to bring him to New York.
Noting that Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion and his access to a private plane, prosecutors called Barracks “an extremely wealthy and powerful man with substantial ties to the Kingdom of Lebanon, the UAE and Saudi Arabia”. said, which poses a serious flight risk. In a letter filed before his appearance.
Prosecutors also want Grimes to be held without bail.
Lesco characterized the alleged conduct as “no less than a betrayal of officials in the United States, including the former president”.
Barracks is the latest in a long line of Trump aides to face criminal charges, including his former campaign chairman, his former deputy campaign chairman, his former chief strategist, his former national security officer, his former personal lawyer and his company’s long-time executive. Chief Financial Officer till date. .