Prosecutors detail charges against Trump’s inaugural chair

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors have spelled out more details of the allegations against the chair of former President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, who’s accused of secretly working as an agent for the United Arab Emirates to influence Trump’s foreign policy.

The details came in an updated indictment filed earlier this week in federal court in New York City in the case of Tom Barrack, a wealthy businessman who acted as an informal adviser to Trump.

Prosecutors say Barrack sought to leverage lucrative international business deals with the United Arab Emirates to benefit the political agendas of both the Trump campaign and the UAE. Barrack is expected to be arraigned next week on a superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal agents.

Barrack was arrested last year and released on $250 million bail. A message was left with his lawyer on Thursday.

The indictment says Barrack, a private equity manager based in Los Angeles, was a key figure in UAE investments in a tech fund and real estate totaling $374 million in 2017.

The indictment quotes emails and text messages from April 2017 stating that while traveling in the Middle East, Barrack was the point man to “pitch” the idea for the massive investments to top UAE officials like Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the current president who was then the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

The indictment also details communications between an unnamed person running the Trump campaign, Barrack and Rashid al Malik, a businessman from the UAE who prosecutors said acted as a conduit to that nation’s rulers. Paul Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager at the time.

A 2016 email assured al Malik that language “that was anti the Saudi Royal Family” was removed from the Republican National Committee’s platform. According to the indictment, that was a reference to proposed wording calling for the release of sensitive documents gathered during the investigation of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.