Los Angeles, CA

L.A. judge wants $250,000,000 bond from a Trump ally

Jano le Roux

Do Trump's allies just have a target on their back or what? Following his arrest in connection with a federal indictment accusing him and two others of illegally lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates during the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond, Thomas Barrack, who chaired President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, was granted a bail package in Los Angeles federal court that included a $250 million bond secured by $5 million in cash.

Barrack was also ordered to wear a GPS tracking device, prohibited from moving any money abroad, and limited his travel to areas of Los Angeles and New York by U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Donahue. According to the US Department of Justice, he was also ordered to appear in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Monday, when he will be arraigned.

Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

On the basis of his riches, foreign connections, and access to private planes, federal prosecutors had requested in court documents that Barrack be refused bail and held in prison until he is transported to New York for arraignment.

According to the Department of Justice, Barrack, 74, of Santa Monica, was detained on Tuesday and named in a seven-count indictment unsealed in New York, with Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, a UAE citizen.

Grimes was granted bail of $5 million by the court on Friday.

Barrack is a close friend and supporter of Trump, as well as one of his top fundraisers and the head of Trump’s inauguration committee.

Barrack is a close friend and supporter of Trump, as well as one of his top fundraisers and the head of Trump’s inauguration committee.

The National Security Division of the Justice Department’s Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko stated in a statement.

“We are putting everyone on notice, regardless of their wealth or apparent political position, that the Department of Justice will enforce the ban of undeclared foreign influence via this indictment.”

Between April 2016 and April 2018, the three defendants are accused of acting and conspiring to act as agents of the UAE, according to the indictment. During a June 20, 2019, interview with federal law enforcement, Barrack is also accused of obstructing justice and making numerous false claims.

According to federal prosecutors, the three performed a number of actions to promote the UAE’s domestic interests.

Prosecutors claim that Barrack placed pro-UAE material into a 2016 Trump campaign speech on energy policy, then sent an early copy of the address to Alshahhi for approval by top UAE officials.

Barrack is also accused of working on behalf of the UAE to oppose a planned conference at Camp David to address an ongoing issue between the UAE, Qatar, and other Middle Eastern countries, even requesting a meeting with Trump to advise against the event.

According to the Department of Justice, the conference never happened.

None of the defendants notified the US Attorney General that they were operating as agents of a foreign government as required by law.

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