Tom Barrack, longtime confidant of former President Donald Trump, has been ordered to be released Friday on a bail package that includes a staggering $250 million bond, secured by $5 million in cash — a sum that is among the highest in United States history.
Earlier this week, a multi-count indictment from a federal grand jury in Brooklyn was unsealed that charged Barrack and two others for allegedly acting as agents of the United Arab Emirates. Barrack was additionally charged with obstruction of justice and making material false statements.
The bail hearing for Barrack and fellow defendant Matthew Grimes, who worked for Barrack’s investment firm, was held Friday before Magistrate Judge Patricia Donahue in U.S. District Court in Central California. Neither Barrack nor Grimes, both of whom are in custody, appeared. In both cases, the release conditions were agreed upon by both the federal prosecutors and defense lawyers.
Grimes was given a bail package including a $5 million bond. Both men will have to wear ankle bracelets with GPS monitoring and surrender passports and travel documents to ensure they remain in the Central District of California, or the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York for trial purposes.
Both men will be arraigned in the Eastern District of New York on Monday, and are to be released from custody in California Friday afternoon.
Barrack is a longtime confidante of former President Donald Trump and served as chairman of Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee. The third defendant in the case is Rashid Al Malik, an Emirati businessman who once considered partnering with Barrack’s company.
While Barrack and Grimes have been arrested and are in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County, Al-Rashid fled the United States in 2018, according to court documents. Barrack’s lawyer told TPM that he intends to plead not guilty.
Federal prosecutors had asked earlier this week that Barrack be detained until a potential bail agreement was arranged. Characterizing him as a “serious flight risk,” they pointed to both his prodigious personal wealth and ties to high-level officials in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as heightening the chance that he’d flee and “never face justice in the United States.”
Barrack allegedly worked his White House connections on behalf of officials in the Gulf, in one episode allegedly setting up calls for Trump with UAE officials before the inauguration and later lying to investigators about doing so.
Prosecutors allege that not only did Barrack carry out that influence campaign, but that he also provided UAE officials with “sensitive non-public information” from inside the administration.
There are still unanswered questions swirling around the case, including why it took so long for Barrack to be indicted. The alleged misconduct spanned 2016 to 2018, and Barrack allegedly lied to investigators in June of 2019. That leaves a two-year gap before he was actually indicted.
The Department of Justice is painting Trump as a victim of Barrack’s chicanery, though Barrack seems a natural fit in Trump’s transactional White House.
“The conduct alleged in the indictment is nothing short of a betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former President,” the department said in a statement.