Trump ally charged with acting as foreign agent

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Thomas Barrack, a close ally to former US president Donald Trump and one of his top fundraisers, was arrested and charged on Tuesday (July 20) for not disclosing his lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

The Justice Department unsealed an indictment in New York federal court accusing three suspects, including 74-year-old Barrack, of failing to register as agents of the United Arab Emirates as they attempted to influence Trump on foreign policy during the presidential campaign.

“The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected president… to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances,” Acting Assistant Attorney-General Mark Lesko said in a statement.

Barrack, a private equity investor, was chairman of Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee.