Trump’s friend Tom Barack faces trial in September in UAE lobbying case

Tom Barack Jr., founder of Colony Capital Inc. (right) arriving at Criminal Court in New York, USA, on Monday 26 July 2021.

Mark Cauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In September, a federal judge said that private equity investor Tom Barak, along with a business partner, would stand trial on charges of illegally lobbying former President Donald Trump, a close friend of his, on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.

The trial of Barack and his accomplice Matthew Grimes will take place at the US District Court in Brooklyn, New York.

Jury selection is set for September 7th. The trial could start on the same day or next week, Judge Brian Kogan said during Wednesday’s trial.

At this hearing, Kogan, prosecutors and lawyers also discussed a timetable for the trial of government classified materials expected to be used in the case.

Barack, 74, who was chairman of Trump’s inaugural fund in 2017, and Grimes, 27, were arrested in July.

Both of them pleaded not guilty. Barack is free on a $ 250 million bond, which is one of the tallest bonds ever issued in the world. Grimes is free on $ 5 million bail.

The third person involved in the case, UAE citizen Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahi, remains at large.

The indictment accuses the three men of secretly promoting the interests of the UAE under the leadership of senior officials in that country, influencing the foreign policy positions of the 2016 Trump campaign and the positions of the US government during the first half of Trump’s presidency.

Prosecutors say that while he allegedly illegally lobbied Trump, Barack also informally advised US officials on Middle East policy and pushed for an appointment as the US government’s special envoy to the Middle East.

Barack, who has never registered with the US government as a UAE agent, is also charged with obstruction of justice and several false statements during interviews with federal law enforcement agencies in June 2019.

Last summer, a senior Justice Department official said, “The behavior described in the indictment is nothing more than a betrayal of these officials in the United States, including the former president.”

Barack stepped down as CEO of Colony Capital in 2020. He stepped down as executive chairman of the company in April.

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