Madrid, 27 years old (European press)
Thomas Barrack, a former ally of former US President Donald Trump, has pleaded not guilty to charges of acting as an agent for a foreign government, in connection with alleged lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. .
Barrack, who was the chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee for 2016, pleaded not guilty through his attorney in federal court in New York, about a week after he was arrested and charged by the US Department of Justice.
The man is also accused of obstructing justice and making false statements to the FBI, after the attorney general’s office argued that he and other defendants were a media conduit for the Emirati leadership during the 2016 campaign and after the Trump takeover.
“Of course, I am innocent of all these charges, and we will prove this to the court,” he said in a statement published after the hearing. “My grandparents came here in 1896 and 1900 and from humble beginnings they gave me the gift that America offers,” he added.
Barak was released on bail on July 23 after paying $250 million (about 212 million euros), as was Matthew Grimes, who also pleaded not guilty during the hearing, according to the American television network (CNN).
The third defendant, Rashid Sultan Rashid al-Malik al-Shehhi, fled the United States three days before being questioned by the FBI in 2018, according to the attorney general’s office.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko claimed last week that “the defendants have repeatedly used Barack’s friendships and access to former President Donald Trump, government officials and the US media to advance the political goals of a foreign government.”
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