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Barrack to Be Released on $250M Bail   07/24 06:18

   

   LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The chair of former President Donald Trump's inaugural 
committee was ordered freed Friday on $250 million bail to face charges he 
secretly worked as an agent for the United Arab Emirates to influence Trump's 
foreign policy.

   Tom Barrack, 74, will be subject to electronic monitoring and largely 
confined to his residence after he is arraigned Monday in a New York courtroom. 
He was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles near his home.

   Barrack is expected to plead not guilty to conspiring to influence U.S. 
policy on the UAE's behalf during Trump's 2016 campaign and while Trump was 
president. Barrack, the founder of private equity firm Colony Capital, was 
among three men charged in the case.

   Prosecutors said Barrack used his long personal friendship with Trump to 
benefit the UAE without disclosing his ties to the U.S. government.

   U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Donahue in Los Angeles ordered strict 
conditions for Barrack's release. He must surrender his passport, wear a 
GPS-monitor to track his whereabouts, limit travel between Southern California 
and New York City and obey a curfew.

   Barrack is charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making 
multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal agents. 
Matthew Grimes, 27, a former executive at Barrack's company from Aspen, 
Colorado, and Rashid al Malik, 43, a businessman from the United Arab Emirates 
who prosecutors said acted as a conduit to that nation's rulers, were also 
charged in the seven-count indictment.

   Grimes was ordered released on $5 million bail. Al Malik fled the U.S. three 
days after an April 2018 interview by law enforcement and remains at large, 
authorities said. He and is believed to be living somewhere in the Middle East.

   Barrack is one of several of the former president's associates to face 
criminal charges, including his former campaign chair, his former deputy 
campaign chair, his former chief strategist, his former national security 
adviser, his former personal lawyer and his company's longtime chief financial 
officer.

   Barrack was an informal adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign before becoming the 
inaugural committee chair.

   He raised $107 million for the lavish celebration scrutinized both for its 
spending and for attracting numerous foreign officials and businesspeople 
looking to lobby the new administration. The inaugural committee was not 
implicated in the indictment.

   After Trump took office, Barrack informally advised senior U.S. government 
officials on Middle East foreign policy. He also sought appointment as special 
envoy to the Middle East or U.S. ambassador to the UAE, prosecutors said.

   He relayed sensitive information about developments within the Trump 
administration to UAE officials-- including how senior U.S. officials felt 
about a yearslong boycott of Qatar conducted by the UAE and other Middle 
Eastern countries, prosecutors said.

   He told al Malik that landing an official position within the administration 
would enable him to advance UAE interests, prosecutors said.

   Such an appointment "would give ABU DHABI more power!" he wrote to al Malik, 
prosecutors said.

   Prosecutors originally sought to detain Barrack because they said he owned a 
private jet and was a flight risk. They also noted he has citizenship in 
Lebanon, a country with no extradition treaty with the U.S.

 
 
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