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
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
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 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.