2019 Charges Reveal More Allegations In Barrack-UAE Influence Campaign

Tom Barrack, former Deputy Interior Undersecretary in the Reagan administration, and CEO of Colony Capital, delivers a speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tom Barrack, former Deputy Interior Undersecretary in the Reagan administration, and CEO of Colony Capital, delivers a speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Lo... Tom Barrack, former Deputy Interior Undersecretary in the Reagan administration, and CEO of Colony Capital, delivers a speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) MORE LESS

There’s more to the charges against Trump confidant Tom Barrack, a newly unsealed document reveals.

As flagged by lawyer and blogger Luppe Luppen, Brooklyn federal prosecutors accused UAE businessman Rashid Al-Malik in a 2019 complaint of acting as an agent of a foreign government.

But the complaint and an attached affidavit by an FBI agent reveals more detail about the federal government’s investigation into the alleged influence operation, which saw Barrack arrested last week in Los Angeles.

Barrack pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him in Brooklyn federal court on Monday.

The complaint, however, places Al-Malik as the main conduit for not only an Emirati influence campaign, but a Saudi one as well. Prosecutors allege that much of this occurred via an unnamed U.S. Person 1, who appears to match Barrack’s description as “a friend” to then-candidate Donald Trump and an “adviser and surrogate for the Campaign” who “continued to advise senior U.S. government officials with respect to Middle East policy” after the 2016 election.

In the affidavit, an FBI agent alleges that Al-Malik worked with the person who matches Barrack’s description and a senior Trump campaign official in May 2016 to push UAE and Saudi influence.

At that time, the group was allegedly trying to arrange a meeting between unnamed UAE officials and Trump after the person who appears to be Barrack travelled to Abu Dhabi with Al-Malik.

“I am in Abu Dhabi with [UAE Official 1]. Call if u can,” wrote the person who matches Barrack’s description to an unnamed senior Trump campaign official on May 1.

That allegedly progressed throughout the month. On May 4, the person who matches Barrack’s description purportedly wrote to Al-Malik saying, “Tell [the senior UAE government official] to [p]ack his bags. [The Candidate] is the man.” Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee that same day.

By that point, the charging document says, the person who is likely Barrack was back in the U.S., and met with senior Trump campaign officials in New York City that same day.

Though the sought-after meeting between unnamed UAE officials and Trump never took place, the FBI agent wrote in the next paragraph that they tried to hold a meeting in New York City with a topic that may have involved Saudi interests as well.

The complaint goes on to allege further incidents that are described in the Barrack indictment, including an attempt to change a speech that Trump was to deliver so that it was more in line with UAE interests.

The timing of the complaint itself lines up with at least one development in Barrack’s case.

Prosecutors accused Barrack of lying to FBI agents during a June 20, 2019 meeting.

Al-Malik was charged five days later, according to the filing. Prosecutors separately alleged in a filing last week that Al-Malik fled the U.S. in April 2018, after an interview with law enforcement.

In remarks to reporters on Monday, Barrack attorney Matthew Herrington dismissed the case as “based on information that was presented and discussed in my conference room two years ago.”

“He is innocent, and we’re going to prove it in court,” Herrington added.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Muckraker
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: