Trump pal called a liar; defense says he had nothing to hide

Oct 31, 2022, 11:12 PM | Updated: Nov 1, 2022, 11:45 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime associate of Donald Trump purposely tried to mislead a jury about how he used his access to the former Republican president to secretly promote the interests of the United Arab Emirates, a prosecutor said Tuesday at a foreign influence trial.

Tom Barrack “was not being honest” when he took the witness stand last week to deny he was provided confidential information to the UAE, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Harris said in closing arguments. “He came into this courthouse and lied.”

Defense attorney Randall Jackson countered by telling jurors Barrack had no reason to lie because he had nothing to hide.

“This whole prosecution has been an act of misdirection,” Jackson said. He added that prosecutors “produced no evidence of a motive in this case – zero.”

Barrack, 75, is a longtime friend of Trump and California billionaire who chaired Trump’s inaugural committee in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, obstruction of justice and making false statements.

Harris said that the evidence showed the defendant schemed to become the “eyes, ears and the voice” for the Emirates as part of a criminal conspiracy to manipulate Trump’s foreign policy. At the same time. he leveraged his back-channel connections to get the UAE to pump tens of millions of dollars into an office building he was developing and into one of his investment funds, he added.

The prosecutor pointed to what he characterized as a steady steam of shady texts and other communications that showed that Barrack was under the direction and control of Rashid al Malik, a businessman from the UAE who acted as a conduit to the rulers the oil-rich Persian Gulf state.

Barrack “marketed himself as politically connected. Someone who could open doors for the UAE. Someone who could offer access to Donald Trump. … He was going to be their man on the inside,” Harris said.

Al Malik asked Barrack “to do things for the UAE again and again,” he said.

Jackson said Barrack made no attempt to conceal his relationships with Al Malik or his network of business connections he had cultivated throughout the Middle East. He also said it “makes no sense” that his client would try to infiltrate the Trump campaign on the behalf of the UAE at a time when Trump’s chances of winning the presidency were considered a longshot.

“He was involved in the campaign because he’s loyal to his friends – maybe to a fault,” the lawyer said.

Last week, Barrack testified that “dozens” of people asked him for help in getting pardons from the former president. He also said he never sought a pardon for himself, even after he learned he was under investigation.

Asked why, he responded, “I never did anything wrong.”

Barrack, an Arabic speaker of Lebanese descent, also described efforts to arrange for Trump to meet with UAE national security advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other officials from more moderate governments in an effort to persuade Trump to tone down his his anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“I was trying to get common ground, to try to get him to step back from what he didn’t believe,” he said.

Jury deliberations are expected to begin on Wednesday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Thursday’s Scores

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL= Sehome 62, Arlington 49 ___ Some high school basketball scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Thursday’s Scores

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL= Mossyrock 44, Napavine 42 Stevenson 48, Irrigon, Ore. 43, OT ___ Some high school basketball scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
23 hours ago
A woman shops in a reopened grocery store in the district of Haizhu as pandemic restrictions are ea...
Associated Press

China fines former NBA star Lin over quarantine comments

BEIJING (AP) — Former NBA star Jeremy Lin, who plays for a Chinese team, was fined 10,000 yuan ($1,400) for “inappropriate remarks” on social media about quarantine facilities ahead of a game, China’s professional league announced Friday, as the government tries to stop protests against anti-virus controls that are among the world’s most stringent. Also […]
23 hours ago
Bill Loper, interim artistic director of the Out Loud Colorado Springs Men's Chorus, leads the grou...
Associated Press

LGBTQ chorus in Colorado Springs unifies community with song

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Below the vaulted dome and dark wood beams of a church in Colorado Springs, a gay men’s choir rehearsed for a concert that’s taken on new meaning after a LGBTQ night club became the site of a gruesome shooting that killed five and wounded 17. “There is no peace on […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Coal-fired power plant in NJ to be imploded for clean power

SWEDESBORO, N.J. (AP) — A former coal-fired power plant in New Jersey will be imploded Friday, and its owners are expected to announce plans for a new clean energy venture on the site. Starwood Energy will demolish the former Logan Generating Plant, with the head of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities pushing the button […]
23 hours ago
Illona Ilae, of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, looks on after leaving an offering in front an alter below the...
Associated Press

For many Hawaiians, lava flows are a time to honor, reflect

HONOLULU (AP) — When Willette Kalaokahaku Akima-Akau looks out at the the lava flowing from Mauna Loa volcano and makes an offering of gin, tobacco and coins, she will be taking part in a tradition passed down from her grandfather and other Native Hawaiians as a way to honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Trump pal called a liar; defense says he had nothing to hide