Jury Finds Trump Friend and Fundraiser Tom Barrack Not Guilty

Jury Finds Trump Friend and Fundraiser Tom Barrack Not Guilty
Tom Barrack, former Deputy Interior Undersecretary in the Reagan administration, delivers a speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Former President Donald Trump’s former fundraiser, Tom Barrack, was found not guilty on Friday after facing charges that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent during the Trump administration and then lied to the FBI.

Described also as a longtime adviser and friend to Trump, Barrack was also acquitted of obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI agents in 2019 about his interactions with Emirati officials and their representatives. Barrack’s former assistant and co-defendant, Matthew Grimes, was also acquitted of acting as a foreign agent and conspiracy to act as a foreign agent.

“It’s these people who should take the victory lap,” Barrack told Reuters after the not guilty verdict was read. “I’m so moved by them and by the system,” he added.

Prosecutors alleged that Barrack had used his friendship with Trump to “illegally provide” officials in the United Arab Emirates access and inside information to the Trump administration.

Prosecutors alleged that messages showed that Barrack received input from Emirati officials and intermediaries on what to say about the Middle East in TV interviews, and passed along sensitive details about U.S. foreign policy and personnel appointments.

“The defendants unlocked the back door of the American political system—its campaigns, its media, its government—to the UAE,” Ryan Harris, one of the prosecutors, said on Tuesday during closing arguments, according to the New York Times.

During the trial, Trump wrote on Truth Social that Barrack is a “highly respected businessman” and did not believe he worked as a foreign agent of the United Arab Emirates.

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was called to testify in Barrack’s defense about a meeting with him in June 2017 when Barrack disagreed with Trump’s comments about backing a blockade on trade with Qatar.

“[Barack] came in with the idea of telling me that he thought the President had made a mistake supporting the blockade and going through his reasoning why,” Mnuchin testified. “His position was clearly in support of Qatar.”

His lawyers also said that Barrack wanted better relations between the United States and Middle Eastern countries, he never agreed to act under the United Arab Emirates’ “direction or control.” He also said, “I never did anything wrong.”

“This whole prosecution has been an act of misdirection,” Randall Jackson, one of Barrack’s attorneys, said during closing arguments on Tuesday in a Brooklyn courtroom, according to the NY Times. “What exactly did Tom and Matthew influence? What exactly did they say that wasn’t true?”

Reuters contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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