Trump Inauguration Chair Arrested, Charged With Acting As Unregistered Foreign Agent

Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar


Thomas Barrack, a California billionaire who organized Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential inauguration, was charged in New York with acting as an agent of the United Arab Emirates and making false statements to federal agents.

Barrack, 74, is accused of “acting and conspiring to act” as an agent of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018, as well as obstruction of justice for falsely claiming otherwise in a June 2019 interview with federal authorities, the US Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

Matthew Grimes, 27, of Colorado and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Al-Shahi, 43, an Emirati national, were indicted as his co-conspirators. The trio “repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access” to Trump, “high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko of the DOJ’s National Security Division, calling the conduct “nothing short of a betrayal” of those officials, including the president.

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