Former Trump official arrested for acting as foreign agent

Former Trump administration official Thomas Barrack was arrested on Tuesday and charged with acting as a foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates.

Barrack previously served as chairman of former President Donald Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The Background

NBC News reported, “Barrack, 74, and two others are accused of ‘acting and conspiring to act as agents’ of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018, but without registering as foreign agents. Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to federal law enforcement agents.”

Barrack charge violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) includes “a World War II era law that requires any individual who wants to engage in political activities for the benefit of a foreign country to register and provide reports of his or her activities to the attorney general.

“None of the three men registered as foreign agents,” according to the Daily Caller.

Why It Matters

“American citizens have a right to know when foreign governments, or their agents, are attempting to exert influence on our government,” FBI Assistant-Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said in a press release.

“This is especially important to Americans during a Presidential election year, and the laws on the books were created to protect our nation from such untoward influence. This case is about secret attempts to influence our highest officials,” he added.

According to Axios, “The DOJ said Barrack attempted to advance the interests of the UAE by influencing the foreign policy positions of Trump’s campaign in 2016 and, subsequently, the foreign policy positions of the U.S. government in the incoming administration.”

In addition, the report noted Barack “met with FBI special agents in June 2019 for an interview and made numerous false statements, including falsely denying that Alshahhi had ever requested that he take any actions on behalf of the UAE.”

The arrest comes year after the events, but will certainly be used as fuel by the left against Trump as he seeks to downplay the event and his connection to Barrack.

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