by Brian Meley | The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – The chairman of former President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee was ordered free Friday on $250 million bail to face charges he made for the United Arab Emirates for influencing Trump’s foreign policy. Worked secretly as an agent.
Tom Barracks, 74, will be under electronic surveillance and largely confined to his residence after appearing Monday in a New York courtroom. He was arrested on Tuesday near his home in Los Angeles.
Barrack is expected not to plead guilty to conspiring to influence US policy on behalf of the United Arab Emirates during Trump’s 2016 campaign and while Trump was president. Barrack, the founder of private equity firm Colony Capital, was among the three accused in the case.
Prosecutors said Barracks used his long personal friendship with Trump to benefit the United Arab Emirates without disclosing his ties to the US government.
US Magistrate Judge Patricia Donahue in Los Angeles ordered stricter conditions for Barracks’ release. He must surrender his passport, wear a GPS-monitor to track his whereabouts, limit travel between Southern California and New York City, and follow a curfew.
Barracks has been charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal agents. Matthew Grimes, 27, a former executive at Barrack’s company from Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Al Malik, 43, a United Arab Emirates businessman who said prosecutors had acted as a conduit for that country’s rulers , he was also charged with a seven-count. indictment
Video: Trump aide accused of acting as agent of foreign nation
Grimes was ordered to be released on $5 million bail. Authorities said al-Malik fled the US three days after an April 2018 interview by law enforcement and remains at large. He is also believed to be living somewhere in the Middle East.
Barracks is one of the former president’s aides facing criminal charges, including his former campaign chairman, his former deputy campaign chairman, his former chief strategist, his former national security adviser, his former personal lawyer, and his company’s longtime boss Includes Chief Financial Officer.
Barracks was an informal adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign before becoming chairman of the inaugural committee.
He raised $107 million for his own spending and for the grand celebration to attract the many foreign officials and businessmen lobbying the new administration. The inaugural committee was not implicated in the indictment.
After Trump took office, Barracks informally advised senior US government officials on Middle East foreign policy. Prosecutors said he sought his appointment as a special envoy to the Middle East or as the US ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
Prosecutors said they relayed sensitive information about developments to the Trump administration to UAE officials — including how senior US officials felt about the boycott of Qatar organized by the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries.
Prosecutors said he told al-Malik that taking on an official position within the administration would enable him to advance the interests of the UAE.
Such an appointment would “give more power to Abu Dhabi!” He wrote to Al Malik, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors originally sought to take Barracks into custody because they said he owned a private jet and was a flight risk. He also noted that he has citizenship in Lebanon, a country that has no extradition treaty with the US.
Associated Press reporter Larry Neumeister contributed from New York.