Thomas Barrack, who acted as an advisor for former President Donald Trump and one of his top fundraisers, was arrested and charged Tuesday with not disclosing his lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
The Justice Department unsealed an indictment in New York federal court accusing three suspects, including wealthy 74-year-old businessman Barrack, of failing to register as agents of the United Arab Emirates. In this capacity he is alleged to have inserted language praising the UAE into Trump’s speeches, attempted to influence the selection of ambassadors, and to shape US policy on the Gulf. He was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his work for the UAE.
“The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected president… to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said in a statement. Matthew Grimes, one of Barrack’s employees, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, a UAE national, were also charged. “He is not guilty,” a spokesman for Barrack said, according to The New York Times.