Thomas Barrack: Top Trump aide accused of working as foreign agent

Thomas Barrack speaks at the Republican National Convention in 2016Billionaire and long-time Donald Trump ally Thomas J Barrack has been arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly acting as an agent of a foreign government.

The 74-year-old investment firm founder served as a key adviser to the former US president’s 2016 campaign, and was considered a top fundraiser. Mr Barrack is accused of illegally lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates during and after the campaign. A spokesman for Mr Barrack said he planned to plead not guilty. He is the latest ex-Trump official to face federal charges.

Mr Barrack is charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to the FBI during a 2019 interview. Also charged are Matthew Grimes, 27 – who works for Mr Barrack – and UAE citizen Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, according to the seven-page indictment.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said the conduct alleged in the indictment was “nothing short of a betrayal” of US officials including Mr Trump himself.

The three men are accused of seeking to advance the interests of the UAE government both by influencing Trump officials and through media appearances.

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