Trump inaugural committee Head And Billionaire Friend Arrested For Being An UAE agent And Conspiracy
On Tuesday, the chair of former US president Donald Trump's 2017 inaugural committee was arrested on charges of trying to influence US foreign policy in favor of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A US federal court in New York accused Thomas Joseph Barrack, 74, of Santa Monica, California, of working to advance UAE interests during the election campaign and during the presidency.
Who is Thomas Joseph Barrack?
Thomas Joseph Barrack is a billionaire who founded real estate equity firm Colony Capital which controls $50 billion in assets. The billionaire is a very close ally and business associate of Donald Trump.
In June 2018, the New York Times reported that Colony NorthStar, which was formed from in a merger, had received $7 billion of investment after Donald Trump was elected, with 24% of that investment coming from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
He resigned as chairman of Colony Capital in April after stepping down from the role of chief executive in 2020.
What are the charges?
US Federal prosecutors charged Thomas Joseph Barrack with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI agents on June 20, 2019.
The charges allege that he promoted UAE interests to the Trump administration and provided the UAE with sensitive information senior US officials.
The Brooklyn federal court also charged Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, of the United Arab Emirates in a seven-count indictment.
What did the authorities say?
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko reported that the three suspects had used Barrackꞌs "access" to Trump, campaign and government officials and the US media to advance UAE interests. Lesko claims the alleged behavior "without disclosing their true allegiances" was "nothing short of a betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former President."
In a statement, Lesko said, "Through this indictment, we are putting everyone regardless of their wealth or perceived political power on notice that the Department of Justice will enforce the prohibition of this sort of undisclosed foreign influence.''