Tom Barrack, the head of Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee and fundraiser for the former president, was found not guilty by a Brooklyn federal jury Friday on charges of unlawfully acting as a foreign agent.
The verdict came after a six-week trial and dealt a blow to federal prosecutors who had alleged Barrack used his long relationship with Trump to provide United Arab Emirates officials with inside information on the administration and Trump’s 2016 White House run.
Barrack was also cleared of obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Arab nation.
“I’m so thankful for this system,” Barrack said after his acquittal.
The jury deliberated for about three days before returning the not-guilty verdict. One of Barrack’s assistants, Matthew Grimes, was also cleared by the jury.
In closing statements Tuesday, Barrack attorney Randall Jackson said his client was a booster of Trump’s 2016 campaign because he’s a loyal friend of the former president — not because of a devious plan to carry water for the UAE.
“He was involved in the campaign because he’s loyal to his friends — maybe to a fault,” Jackson told jurors.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, pointed to a series of text messages between Barrack and Rashid al-Malik, who they said was a representative of the rulers of the UAE.
The Trump booster “marketed himself as politically connected. Someone who could open doors for the UAE. Someone who could offer access to Donald Trump. … He was going to be their man on the inside,” Assistant US Attorney Ryan Harris said.
With Post wires