Trump friend charged with illegal lobbying
Special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. But after his investigation concluded in 2019, the Justice Department launched an inquiry into the chief fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Thomas J. Barrack Jr. raised more than $107 million for the inaugural fund. He was arrested on Tuesday on charges of conspiring to influence Trump’s foreign policy during his campaign and early presidency on behalf of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. A spokesperson said Barrack would plead not guilty.
What are the charges? Federal law requires lobbyists to report their activities to the Justice Department when they work on behalf of foreign governments, political parties, or policy groups. The indictment alleges Barrack shared confidential information with UAE officials and arranged secret meetings between them and individuals in the Trump administration. He also faces charges of obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents in June 2019.
Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report on the peace deal between Israel and UAE brokered by the Trump administration.
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