The United Arab Emirates has arrested the chair of the inaugural committee for President Donald Trump, Thomas Barrack, on charges of being an unregistered foreign agent.
Thomas Barrack, the man who was expected to be Trump’s chair of the inaugural committee, has been arrested and accused of being an unregistered lobbyist for United Arab Emirates.
(CBSLA) SANTA MONICA — After a federal indictment accused him of being an unregistered agent of the United Arab Emirates, Thomas Barrack, a longtime advisor to President Trump and head of his inauguration committee, was detained Tuesday in the Los Angeles region.
Barrack, 74, of Santa Monica, and two other defendants are charged in a seven-count indictment announced Tuesday in a federal court in New York with trying to promote the interests of a foreign government in the United States.
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On April 28, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California, Thomas Barrack, Executive Chairman and CEO of Colony Capital, participates in a panel discussion at The Beverly Hilton Hotel during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Michael Kovac)
Between April 2016 and April 2018, the three allegedly acted and plotted to operate as agents of the UAE, according to the indictment, which also names Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, a 43-year-old UAE citizen. During a June 2019 interview with federal law enforcement officials, Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements.
“The defendants used Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected President, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances,” said Mark Lesko, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
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Before the 2016 election, Barrack, the founder of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital Inc., worked as an informal advisor to Trump’s campaign and as chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee from November 2016 to January 2017. According to federal prosecutors, Barrack wanted to be appointed to a high government position, such as Special Envoy to the Middle East.
According to the Department of Justice, Barrack exploited his position to promote the UAE’s interests on many occasions. Prosecutors allege that Barrack incorporated words praising the UAE into a May 2016 Trump campaign speech on US energy policy, and that he sought guidance from UAE officials before writing an op-ed for a major magazine in October 2016. Prosecutors allege that after Trump’s victory, Barrack continued to promote the UAE’s interests by endorsing an unnamed candidate for the post of US Ambassador to the UAE and advising against a planned Camp David summit with Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries, which the UAE opposed.
Prosecutors claim that Barrack, Grimes, and Alshahhi failed to notify the Attorney General that they were working as agents of a foreign government in the United States.
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On Tuesday afternoon, Barrack is scheduled to appear in federal court in downtown Los Angeles. On Tuesday, Grimes was also apprehended, while Alshahhi remained at large.
Thomas Barrack, the chair of Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, was arrested on Thursday and accused of being an unregistered lobbyist for the United Arab Emirates. Reference: thomas barrack children.
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