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Thomas Barrack was charged with allegedly working as a foreign agent for the UAE

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Thomas Barak, a 75-year-old private equity businessman, and a major Trump fundraiser, was charged on July 20, 2021, of acting as a foreign agent in the interest of the United Arab Emirates. The allegation stems from a period from 2016 to 2018, when Thomas Barrack allegedly collaborated unlawfully with the UAE to boost Trump’s campaign. According to Reuters, UAE authorities have reportedly paid Barrack to look after the UAE’s interests privately and tell him what to say during TV appearances. Prosecutors allege that Barrack exploited his relations with the UAE to influence Trump’s actions.

Prosecutors also allege that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Barrack used his personal affiliation with Trump to influence opinions about Trump’s foreign policy. According to CBS, Barrack has been accused of being an agent working for a foreign entity, obstructing justice and making false statements to law enforcement. He was arrested in July 2021 and spent two days in prison before being released on $250 million bail. Barrack will face these charges in federal court in Brooklyn later this month, with jury selection beginning Monday, September 19.

Everything there is to know about Thomas Barrack

After graduating from USC Gould Law School in 1972, Thomas Barrack, a Lebanese American who grew up in Culver City, California, began his legal career. According to Fortune, the year he graduated, he began working for a legal firm headed by Herbert W. Kalmbach, then Richard Nixon’s counsel. As a result of his tenure with the legal firm, he was sent to Saudi Arabia, where he built contacts and worked for members of the Saudi royal family.

According to the New York Times, Thomas Barrack and Donald Trump’s acquaintance began in 1985, when Barrack had become a renowned investor with investments in several hotels and department stores. Barrack first met Trump after selling him stock in a company.

According to Fortune, by 1990, Barrack had built a formidable personal empire with a $25 billion portfolio. However, he is most recognized for his participation in the 2016 US presidential election, when he supported Donald Trump as president. According to the New York Times, Barrack’s ties to the Saudi monarchy served a useful function in softening Trump’s image as an Islamophobe.

Prosecutors say Thomas Barrack contacted multiple UAE officials in the run-up to the 2016 election to seek permission to deliver speeches by the then-election candidate. According to the Wall Street Journal, UAE authorities have made recommendations on who should serve as US ambassador to Abu Dhabi through Barrack.

Thomas Barak

A UAE representative said in an official statement that it would not comment on the allegations.

According to the statement:

“The UAE fundamentally respects the sovereignty of nations as well as their laws and regulations.”

The indictment names Matthew Grimes and Rashid al-Malik as accused accomplices of Barrack. Grimes, a 27-year-old staffer, is said to have helped Barrack communicate with UAE authorities. Rashid Al-Malik, 43, is a UAE citizen suspected of having served as an intermediary between the Americans and official UAE sources. Barrack and Grimes were charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of acting as foreign agents without notifying the Justice Department under section 951 of the Criminal Code. They face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.


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