US billionaire Tom Barrack fails to dismiss UAE agent charges
Tom Barrack, the founder of Colony Capital, was unsuccessful in his plea to have a US judge dismiss accusations that he improperly attempted to influence Trump administration policy on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
Founder of Colony Capital Tom Barrack was unsuccessful in his plea to have a US judge dismiss accusations that he improperly attempted to influence Trump administration policy on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
In September 2021, a report by Bloomberg revealed that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and other Emirati officials led an illegal influence campaign on the administration of former US President Donald Trump.
Tom Barrack, an American billionaire, was greeted royally in the United Arab Emirates just weeks after Donald Trump's election in November 2016, according to the same report.
Prosecutors in court papers described how Barrack also provided inside information on how Trump administration officials viewed a UAE-led blockade of neighboring Qatar.
Furthermore, Bloomberg reported US prosecutors divulged that the meeting was part of a covert effort to influence the foreign policy positions of the Trump campaign and incoming administration, as well as to increase the Gulf State's political clout.
US District Judge Brian Cogan ruled on Wednesday that Barrack and his former assistant, Matthew Grimes, must stand trial in Brooklyn, New York, on charges that they failed to register as foreign agents with the US Attorney General. Separate charges have been filed against Barrack, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, for making false statements to the FBI.
Cogan dismissed numerous defendants' claims about whether they acted under the direction and control of the UAE. Cogan, for example, has stated that he will not “wade into the murky waters of defining what exactly the degree of a foreign principal’s direction or control need be.”
A lawyer for Barrack, Daniel Petrocelli, declined to comment.
The court also rejected the prosecution's claim that there was no proof that Barrack and Grimes consented to serve as agents. "The government is entitled to present its evidence at trial," Cogan stated.
Cogan also dismissed Barrack's claim that prosecutors took too long to indict him, arguing that he can cross-examine witnesses at trial about how the amount of time altered their memory.
The judge, on the other hand, allowed Barrack to unseal handwritten notes of his comments to the FBI during his interview on June 20, 2019, as well as a redacted cover page to an agency document about the session.
He also denied Barrack's request for further conversations concerning Middle East policy between Barrack and the Trump campaign and administration. Prosecutors stated that they had previously turned over all relevant evidence in their possession. The judge found that asking for more is a "classic fishing expedition."