Trump ally, Tom Barrack Was Cleared of Serving as UAE Agent
Tom Barrack, a Donald Trump supporter and adviser, was exonerated of a nine-count accusation that he served as an agent for the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Barrack, who was accused of conspiring, obstructing justice, serving as a foreign government agent, and making false statements to the FBI, was cleared of all counts on Friday because the prosecution could not provide compelling evidence to support the allegations.
After seven weeks of court battles and two days of jury deliberations, the result was announced, leaving Mr. Barrack’s family members in the courtroom in tears and the acquitted man hanging his head in exasperated victory.
75-year-old businessman, Tom Barrack with roots in Los Angeles, was charged with using his connections to Mr. Trump to further UAE interests while undermining those of the US attorney general.
Hundreds of texts and emails between Mr. Barrack and the UAE were displayed by the prosecution to support their assertion that he transmitted sensitive material with them.
Mr. Barrack’s attorney said in his defense that their client was functioning as “his own man” and never made it appear as though he was representing a foreign power.
One of Mr. Barrack’s attorneys, Randall Jackson, added that the correspondence under scrutiny contained no evidence of secret intelligence.
Mr. Barrack, who is of Lebanese heritage, appeared in court alongside Matthew Grimes, 29, his former aide, who denied being an agent of a foreign power. The jury likewise found him not guilty.
The New York Times quoted Mr. Jackson as stating in his closing argument on Tuesday, “This entire case has been an effort of misdirection.”
“Exactly what did Tom and Matthew have an impact on?
“What specifically did they claim to be untrue?”
Standing in the dock, Mr. Tom Barrack explained to the jury that his deeds were consistent with his line of work as a businessman. He claimed that over years of interacting with people in the Middle East, he had a “cultural sixth sense” and intended to create “a thread of tolerance” with them.
His statements had been used against him by the prosecution, who said that he sent Jared Kushner an email asking for millions of dollars in investment while promoting the UAE’s interests in Washington.
In his closing argument on Tuesday, one of the prosecutors, Ryan Harris, was quoted as stating, “The defendants unlocked the back door of the American political system — its campaigns, its media, and its government — to the U.A.E.”
The correspondence, according to Mr. Grimes’ attorney, Abbe Lowell, was taken “totally out of context, to play gotcha.” It is “not whether Matthew is guilty of any crime, but why the prosecutors ever charged him in the first place,” he claimed.