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Thomas J. Barrack Jr trial, agent for United Arab Emirates access to Trump


A former advisor to Trump is expected to testify at his own trial.

The government says that the adviser, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., never told the Trump administration that he was working for the United Arab Emirates. He would risk a hard question from the other side.

Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a financier and longtime friend of former President Donald J. Trump, is expected to testify Monday at his own federal trial. He is accused of acting as an unnamed agent for the United Arab Emirates.

The move comes as the trial in federal court in Brooklyn enters its sixth week. It also comes on the same day that jury selection begins in the trial of the Trump Organization on tax fraud charges in Manhattan. This is just one of many legal problems that the former president and people close to him are facing.

Thomas J. Barrack Jr., on the right, is leaving the Brooklyn Federal District Court. His lawyers have said that what he did was just how he did business.
Thomas J. Barrack Jr., on the right, is leaving the Brooklyn Federal District Court. His lawyers have said that what he did was just how he did business.

Mr. Barrack, who is 75 years old, is accused of working for the Emirates without telling the attorney general as he was supposed to. Prosecutors say that Mr. Barrack, as a top donor to Mr. Trump's campaign, the chairman of his inauguration, and an informal adviser, used his access to Mr. Trump to push policies that the Emirates liked and shared secret information with the country's intelligence service.

Mr. Barrack is accused of nine things, such as working for a foreign government, getting in the way of the law, and lying. When asked by the FBI in 2019 about his business with the Emirates, prosecutors say he lied to them many times.

Prosecutors have shown hundreds of text messages and emails as proof that Mr. Barrack and his assistant, Matthew Grimes, who is also on trial, made a deal with the Emirates to act as agents for the country. The two men asked for help with speeches, media appearances, and policy platforms. They also courted top officials and told the Emiratis what was going on in the Trump administration.

They also asked for money for investment funds, which prosecutors say shows a motive but which Mr. Barrack's team says is a defense: It has said that he wasn't acting as an illegal agent, but rather as a businessman trying to get money from some of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world.

Mr. Trump defended Mr. Barrack on his social media site, Truth Social, late Sunday night. He said that Mr. Barrack was a "highly respected businessman" who wanted peace in the Middle East. "Our heavily armed 'Justice' Department, on the other hand, has said that he is an agent of the UAE, which I don't think he is," he wrote. "He is being treated unfairly just because he supports 'Trump.'"

Taking the witness stand in your own defense is risky because it opens you up to being questioned by the prosecution. In many cases, the defendant is still found guilty, like when Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes testified at her own trial last year.


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