Trump ally Thomas Barrack acquitted of violating foreign agents law
Prosecutors mentioned Barrack was motivated to maintain the UAE completely satisfied as a result of its sovereign wealth fund invested $374 million with Colony Capital from 2017 to 2018 and there was the potential for extra.
Barrack’s lawyer, Randall Jackson, mentioned the federal government’s case misrepresented Barrack’s relationship with the UAE.
“You have not heard one word throughout this trial about the passing of sensitive intelligence,” Jackson mentioned in his summation this week. “It never happened. It never materialized.”
Jackson also said there was no evidence of an agreement between Barak and UAE officials for him to work on their behalf, and that a clear agreement was required for a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act to occur.
A jury in US District Court in Brooklyn on Friday reached the verdict in the trial, which opened in late September.
Barrack is one of several Trump associates who have been indicted in recent years on charges related to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Rick Gates, all former Trump advisers, faced similar charges and were convicted.
Barrack, 75, and his business associate Matthew Grimes, 29, also released Friday, were charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government without registering and conspiracy to act as a foreign agent without registering . Barrack faced several other charges related to lying to the FBI during an interview about his involvement with the United Arab Emirates.
Past coverage: Govt stands by foreign agent case against Trump friend Barrack
Witnesses included former Trump administration cabinet members: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The government’s case relied heavily on numerous text messages and emails involving Barrack, his co-defendant Grimes and UAE contacts. Jurors also saw a number of television interview videos and written pieces depicting Barrack praising the UAE leadership.
The main broker for the UAE was Rashid Al Malik, an Emerit living in Los Angeles. Al Malik was also indicted but fled the country after learning of the investigation.
Prosecutors argued in court that Barrack was successful in his efforts to interfere in foreign affairs on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Also an adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Barrack allegedly managed to get praise for “Gulf allies” in one of Trump’s campaign speeches. Prosecutors argued the term was code for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Prosecutors mentioned Barrack additionally allegedly fed “insider details about foreign coverage developments” to the Trump campaign and his administration in the United Arab Emirates, and he praised national security for the small oil-rich country in interviews. broadcast on national television. He even “assisted the UAE and its allies in White House conferences” in the early days of Trump’s tenure, Assistant US Attorney Ryan Harris said at his meeting on Tuesday.
The UAE is “an autocratic and authoritarian authorities dominated by a royal household wealthy in oil and fuel and controls some of the most important sovereign wealth funds in the whole world,” Harris mentioned.
Barrack had faced up to 20 years in prison on the top count. Grimes had faced up to a decade in prison if convicted of his top charge.