Barrack has been accused of using his access to the former president to secretly act on behalf of the UAE.
Tom Barrack, a business ally of former President Donald Trump, has been acquitted illegal lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
Barrack, an old friend of Trump who chaired the former president’s inaugural committee, has accused acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, obstructing justice and making false statements.
The charges stem from allegations that 75-year-old Barrack used his personal access to Trump to secretly advance UAE interests.
The not guilty verdict was announced on Friday after three days of jury deliberation, limiting the trial to six weeks.
During the closing argument, assistant US attorney Ryan Harris told jurors that Barrack plans to be the “eyes, ears and voice” of the UAE as part of the bill. criminal conspiracy to manipulate Trump’s foreign policy.
At the same time, he accused, Barrack leveraged his back-channel connections to get the UAE to move tens of millions of dollars into an office building he was developing and which became one of his investment funds.
Prosecutors argued that text messages and other communications showed Barrack was acting under the direction of Rashid al-Malik, a businessman who served as a guide for UAE authorities.
Harris said Barrack markets himself as the “inner man” of the UAE, while Malik asks Barrack to “do things for the UAE over and over again”.
Attorney Randall Jackson said Barrack’s defense asserts that he was not trying to hide his relationship with Malik and that he joined the Trump campaign “because he was loyal to him.” my friends – maybe it’s my fault.”
In testimony last week, Barrack, who is of Lebanese descent and speaks Arabic, said he had tried to arrange a meeting between Trump and the UAE national security adviser, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, among others. other officials, in an attempt to convince Trump to refuse. downplay his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“I’m trying to find common ground to try to get him to step back from the things he doesn’t believe in,” he said.
Before being prosecuted, Barrack made headlines by donating $107 million to the former president’s inauguration following the 2016 election.
The event has come under scrutiny for its lavish spending and attracting foreign officials and businessmen seeking to lobby the new administration.
In his testimony, Barrack also said that he never sought forgiveness from Trump. However, he added that “dozens” of people have asked for his help in obtaining a pardon from the former president.
Some of Trump’s associates and allies have been convicted in recent criminal trials, while others pleaded guilty. Trump pardoned some of them before leaving office.
Steve Bannon, a Trump campaign strategist and White House, escaped federal trial on fraud charges thanks to Trump’s pardon in the final hours of his presidency. Bannon now faces state charges of money laundering and conspiracy in connection with the same scheme – he allegedly deceiving sponsors who gave money to help build Trump’s promised wall along the US-Mexico border. In July, Bannon was found guilty of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from a congressional committee investigating the 2021 attack by Trump supporters on the US capital, and he sentenced last month to four months in prison.
Trump’s longtime adviser, Roger Stone, sentenced in 2019 Sworn before US lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, was pardoned.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, was also pardoned after being found guilty of financial misconduct in 2018 and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.