Trump Ally Tom Barrack Asks Judge To Toss Charges That Claim He Acted As An Agent To The UAE
Real estate investor Tom Barrack has asked a federal judge to drop foreign lobbying and obstruction of justice charges against him, claiming the government intentionally timed his case to occur after the election.
Barrack, founder of Colony Capital, pleaded not guilty last July to claims that he used access to former President Donald Trump to lobby on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, according to The New York Times. The 74-year-old Trump confidante was released on $250M bail and cleared for limited domestic travel, much to the dismay of prosecutors who said he is a flight risk.
Charged alongside Barrack are his former business partner, Matthew Grimes, and Rashid al-Malik Alshahhi, an Emirati businessman whose whereabouts are still unknown since he fled the U.S. in 2018. All three are set to appear at trial in September, per the NYT.
The indictment claims that Barrack lied to federal investigators when interviewed about his relationship to UAE leadership in 2019. Defense lawyers contend there is no evidence Barrack acted as a UAE agent, and that the government intentionally obscured facts related to this alleged partnership, according to Bloomberg.
“Mr. Barrack was never an agent of the UAE, nor did he commit obstruction or make any false statements. There is no basis whatsoever for the charges against Mr. Barrack, and this indictment should be dismissed in its entirety,” Barrack’s lawyers said in a Jan. 31 filing.