Describing Trump confidant Thomas Barrack as a “serious flight risk” who may receive the support of foreign leaders in fleeing the Justice Department, federal prosecutors asked a judge in a Tuesday memo to detain the 2017 Trump inaugural committee chair.
“The defendant is charged with extremely serious offenses based on conduct that
strikes at the very heart of our democracy,” prosecutors wrote in the detention filing, which asks a Los Angeles federal magistrate to detain Barrack until a potential bail deal can be worked out.
Prosecutors want Barrack to be moved to Brooklyn federal court while in federal custody.
Prosecutors said that they would be amenable to Barrack leaving custody before trial if he disclosed “the full scope” of his foreign ties and assets, posted a substantial bond, and agreed to GPS monitoring, movement restrictions, and to surrender his passports and access to private jets.
A Brooklyn federal grand jury returned an indictment against Barrack on Friday, which was unsealed on Tuesday after Barrack and his co-defendant Matthew Grimes were arrested in Los Angeles. An attorney for Barrack told TPM that he intends to plead not guilty to the charges.
Barrack, Grimes, and Emirati businessman Rashid al-Malik are charged with failing to register as foreign agents for work benefitting the UAE and conspiracy to do the same. Barrack faces additional charges relating to alleged lies he told to FBI agents in a June 2019 interview.
Al-Rashid fled the U.S. in April 2018, the document reads, after being interviewed by unnamed law enforcement agents about “some of the conduct” described in the indictment.
Barrack, prosecutors say, presents a flight risk in part because his alleged conduct benefitted the leaders of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
In one exchange prosecutors cite in the memorandum but not the indictment, Barrack allegedly told Al-Malik that, were he to be appointed either U.S. Ambassador to the UAE or special envoy to the Middle East, that “would give ABU DHABI more power!”
Prosecutors allege that Barrack went to the UAE in March 2021 on his private plane, and that were he “to successfully flee aboard his private aircraft to either of these two countries, he would potentially have the assistance of their highest leaders, virtually ensuring that the defendant would never face justice in the United States.”
The feds also allege that Barrack did not only act to influence U.S. policy in the interests of the UAE, but that he “provided UAE government officials, through Al Malik, with sensitive non-public information about developments within the [Trump] Administration.”
Read the filing here: