WASHINGTON — A close friend of former President Donald Trump and one of his top 2016 campaign fundraisers, Thomas J. Barracks Jr. was indicted Tuesday morning on federal charges of criminal charges requiring lobbyists to disclose their work to foreign interests. Justice Department.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI have been investigating Barracks for nearly three years, focusing on whether they found Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign or his administration on behalf of the Persian Gulf states with heavy stakes in United States policy. tried to impress.
The investigation was overseen by prosecutors in the Public Integrity Section of the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. In an interview two years ago, a spokesman for Barracks said he had acted as an independent mediator between Persian Gulf leaders and the Trump campaign and administration, not on behalf of foreign officials or entities.
The indictment accused Barracks and two others of failing to register as agents of the UAE government. The other two accused were Matthew Grimes, a former top executive of Barrack’s company, and Rashid al-Malik Alshahi, an Emirati businessman close to the rulers of the United Arab Emirates.
Barrack’s real estate and private equity firm, Colony Capital, benefited from substantial investments from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. About $ 1.5 billion was received from the Gulf countries. through investment or other transactions. Of that, about $474 million came from sovereign wealth funds controlled by their governments.
Barracks, 74, has been a friend of Trump since the 1980s. He helped raise money for Trump’s first presidential campaign and ran his own transition team after Trump won. But he was perhaps best known for leading Trump’s inauguration committee, which raised $107 million—the most money ever collected and spent to celebrate the inauguration.
Critics claimed that the committee became a center to block access to foreign officials or business leaders, or those acting on their behalf, but investigations by several local courts into the committee’s activities were filed without charge.
This article originally appeared in the new York Times.