A jury found Trump friend Thomas Barrack not guilty on all counts in the foreign lobbying trial
A New York jury on Friday found Trump confidant and billionaire Thomas Barrack not guilty of all charges in his trial on federal lobbying charges.
Barrack, a 75-year-old investor who served as an adviser to former President Donald Trump and chairman of his inaugural committee, is accused of using his ties to the Trump administration to try to influence US foreign policy for a client, the United Arab Emirates.
Outside the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Barak praised the jury and referred to “Lady Justice.”
“The system is amazing. The people are amazing. I have no animosity, I’m just proud to be an American,” Barak said, later adding that he was “done with politics.”
“Let’s stop fighting with each other. Let’s stop all the politicization of everything, whoever the president is,” Barrack told reporters before teenagers playing music on hand-held speakers passed by. Barak briefly stopped talking, raised his hands in the air and danced.
Prosecutors portrayed Barrack as a businessman “camping for cash” to use his White House connections to add a lucrative client to his investment portfolio. Barrack’s defense said he used his ties to the Middle East and the presidential administration to try to mediate disputes in the volatile but crucial region in an attempt to shut down an international investment career.
Jurors, empaneled since September 19, deliberated for two days before reaching their verdict.
Barrackson charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the UAE, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the FBI.
Prosecutors showed the jury text messages and emails sent in 2016 and 2017, during the presidential campaign and the early days of the Trump administration, in which Barrack and an employee of his firm, Colony Capital, conveyed topics related to a “wish list” of UAE priorities. . Barack and an employee, Michael Grimes, communicated through an intermediary with Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a sheikh who is the UAE’s national security adviser, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Barrack and Grimes’ efforts raised $374 million in new investments from the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund for their firm. Their defense said there was nothing illegal about their efforts to attract new investment and pointed out that the figure represented just 1% of the investment portfolio managed by Barrack’s former company, which is now known as DigitalBridge.
Grimes, 29, is also charged in the case. A jury found him not guilty of acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
The alleged middleman, an Emirati national living in California, Rashid al Malik, is also accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Authorities have not located Al Malik.
After the verdict, Grimes said he was “grateful” to the jurors and to his parents, who attended the trial every day and “stood by me every day.”
“I’m grateful that I live in the United States that I have the opportunity to stand before a judge who is fair and impartial and a jury of my peers who have come to the conclusion of what should be. And that’s the truth,” Grimes said.
Asked what to do next, he said “insult”, without elaborating.
Outside the courtroom, prosecutors did not comment.
Barack spent the last six days of the trial on the bench,. He described his communications with UAE officials about the Trump administration as “bloating” and attempts to mediate disputes.
The jury also heard the testimony of two officials of the Trump administration, the former Secretary of the Treasurycalled by Barrack’s defense, and former Secretary of State invited by the government.
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