Thomas Barrack, a private equity investor who is a close friend of former President Donald Trump, was arrested Tuesday morning in Los Angeles on federal charges of illegally lobbying Trump on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
Barrack, who was charged with two other men in a seven-count indictment in Brooklyn, New York, federal court, was chairman of Trump’s 2017 inaugural fund.
The Santa Monica, California, resident is accused with the other defendants of secretly advancing the interests of the UAE at the direction of senior officials of that country by influencing the foreign policy positions of Trump’s 2016 campaign, and then the foreign policy positions of the U.S. government during Trump’s presidency through April 2018.
Barrack, who never registered with the American government as an agent for the UAE, also is charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal law enforcement agents.
The indictment noted that Barrack, 74, during that time covered by the indictment informally advised American officials on Middle East policy, and also sought appointment to a senior role in the U.S. government, including as special envoy to the Middle East.
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