Trump pal Tom Barrack goes on trial for foreign lobbying work
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Donald Trump's longtime friend and informal adviser Tom Barrack will go on trial Monday on charges that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates.

The private-equity investor is accused of using his relationship with the former president to secretly communicate with the Emiratis and advance their interests without properly disclosing his role with the U.S. attorney general, and prosecutors say he lied to the FBI in 2019 about his work trying to secure investments from the nation, reported the New York Times.

Barrack, who has denied wrongdoing, has been charged with seven counts, including acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, obstruction of justice and making false statements, and he will be tried alongside his former assistant Matthew Grimes, who was charged only on the lobbying counts.

A third defendant, Emirati businessman Rashid al-Malik, left the U.S. after federal investigators interviewed him in 2018 and remains at large.

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Barrack worked with the Trump campaign at the 2016 Republican National Convention to shape the GOP platform around Emirati interests, and he praised the UAE on television, and after Trump's election he communicated with senior Emirati officials about the White House transition and which candidates might be selected for official posts.

Al-Malik allegedly gave Barrack a "wish list" of foreign policy goals in December 2016 and encouraged Grimes to get the Trump administration to have the Muslim Brotherhood designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

"Yes," Grimes responded. "At your direction."

Trump associates Elliott Broidy and former national security adviser Michael Flynn each pleaded guilty to working as unregistered foreign agents, but they were each pardoned by the former president.

Jared Kushner, the former White House senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law, secured a controversial $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia after leaving his government post, and former Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin got a $1 billion investment from the Saudis and $500 million from the Emiratis for his own private equity fund.