© Reuters. Thomas Barrack, a billionaire buddy of Donald Trump who chaired the previous president’s inaugural fund, exits the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tom Barrack, a onetime fundraiser for former U.S. President Donald Trump, took the witness stand in his personal protection on Monday in his trial on costs of being an unlawful overseas agent for the United Arab Emirates.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn mentioned Barrack used his affect with Trump’s election marketing campaign and administration to push the UAE’s pursuits with out notifying the U.S. legal professional common, as required by regulation.
Barrack, 75, has pleaded not responsible. His legal professionals argued his interactions with Emirati officers had been a part of his job operating Colony Capital (NYSE:), a non-public fairness agency now generally known as DigitalBridge Group Inc.
For defendants, testifying is doubtlessly dangerous as a result of it opens them as much as probing cross-examination by prosecutors.
Throughout the monthlong trial, prosecutors have confirmed jurors textual content messages and emails indicating that Emirati officers supplied suggestions to Barrack on what he ought to say in tv interviews and an opinion article about U.S. coverage towards the Center East in 2016 and 2017, and gave enter about what Trump ought to say about vitality coverage in a 2016 presidential marketing campaign speech.
In a put up on his Fact Social platform on Sunday night time, Trump mentioned he didn’t imagine Barrack was a UAE agent, and that Barrack by no means spoke to him about speeches or “what to say on this topic.”
“Tom Barrack is a extremely revered businessman whose DREAM was to see PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, an excellent and noble factor,” Trump wrote. “He’s being unfairly persecuted solely as a result of he’s a supporter of ‘Trump.'”