The Chairman of Trump’s Inaugural Committee was arrested on charges of plotting to strengthen the UAE | Donald Trump inauguration

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The Chairman of Trump’s Inaugural Committee was arrested on charges of plotting to strengthen the UAE | Donald Trump inauguration

The 2017 President of Donald Trump’s Inaugural Committee was arrested Tuesday on charges alleging that he conspired to influence Trump’s foreign policy positions in favor of the government. The United Arab Emirates and committing crimes targeting what prosecutors called “the heart of our democracy”.

Tom Barrack, 74, of Santa Monica, California, was among three men charged in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, with conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent while trying to influence foreign policy while Trump was running in 2016 and beyond. was chief.

Besides conspiracy, Barak was accused of obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal agents. Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Al-Malik, 43, of the United Arab Emirates were also indicted on seven counts.

“The defendants repeatedly took advantage of Barak’s friendships and access to an eventual presidential candidate, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the US media to advance the political goals of a foreign government without revealing their true loyalties,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said in statement.

Prosecutors said Barak not only agreed to advance the UAE’s foreign policy interests through his unique access 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 that It is imposed by the United Arab Emirates and the United Arab Emirates. other Middle Eastern countries.

Worse, in his communications with the owner, prosecutors wrote, the defendant framed his efforts to obtain an official position within the administration as one that would enable him to further the interests of the UAE, rather than those of the United States. In a letter requesting his arrest.

Authorities said Barak served as an informal adviser to the Trump campaign from April 2016 to November 2016 and chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee from November 2016 to January 2017. Beginning in January 2017, he informally advised senior US government officials on Middle East foreign policy, he added.

Authorities cited several specific cases when Barack or others allegedly sought to influence US policies, noting that in May 2016, Barrack inserted language praising the United Arab Emirates in Trump’s campaign speech on US energy policy and emailed a pre-draft of the speech to be dump it. to senior Emirati officials.

“Similarly, during 2016 and 2017, the defendants sought and received directions and reactions, including talking points, from senior Emirati officials regarding a national journalistic appearance that Barak used to advance the interests of the UAE,” the authorities said in a statement.

They said that after one appearance in which Barak repeatedly praised the UAE, Barak emailed the owner saying, “You made it… for the host team,” referring to the Emirates.

Phone and email messages sent to the UAE embassy in Washington were not immediately returned.

A spokesman for Barack said he is not guilty.

“Mr. Barak has voluntarily made himself available to the investigators from the start,” the spokesman said.

Grimes was also arrested Tuesday in Southern California. A letter requesting comment has been sent to his attorney.

Bill Caufield, King’s lawyer – who was not in custody on Tuesday – said his client had cooperated extensively with Robert Mueller’s office of Special Counsel and that “there is nothing new here”. He said the king simply tried to foster a good relationship between the country in which he was born “and the country in which he lives and works, both of which he loves.”

Barack first appeared in federal court in Los Angeles, where prosecutors were due to ask a US investigative judge to bring him to New York.

Noting that Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion in March 2013 and access to a private jet, prosecutors described him as “an extremely wealthy and powerful individual with significant ties to Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.” Danger of serious escape in a speech presented before his appearance

Barack is the latest in a long line of Trump aides facing criminal charges, including his former campaign chairman, former campaign vice president, former chief strategist, former national security adviser, former personal attorney and longtime corporate chief financial officer. .

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