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Opening statements set for trial against Trump’s close allies

New York – When Donald Trump tried to become president in 2016, a California billionaire named Tom Barack was definitely in the mix.

The pair remained close friends for decades before Barack emerged as an unofficial campaign adviser.

The problem, according to federal prosecutors, is that Barrack was also secretly working as an agent for the United Arab Emirates, an energy-rich US ally. The motion appealed to the defendants in federal court in Brooklyn. The trial is expected to shed light on his relationship with Trump and how Barrack sought to use that relationship to protect and inform UAE interests.

Before being indicted, Ballack made headlines by raising $107 million at Trump’s post-election inauguration in 2016. The event was scrutinized both for its extravagant spending and for attracting foreign officials and businessmen seeking to lobby the new government.

To be completed by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan and attorneys jury selection Wednesday morning. An opening statement follows.

Judges asked potential jurors who expressed anti-Trump sentiments if they could put them aside and remain neutral.

During questioning, the judge told potential jurors that they may have heard testimony from former Trump administration officials and Trump himself.

75-year-old barracks β€” was arrested last year Released on $250 million bail β€” pleading not guilty to charges charged with acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, obstructing justice and making false statements.

The Los Angeles-based private equity manager was a key player in investments totaling $374 million in technology funds and real estate in the United Arab Emirates. Prosecutors say Barack helped influence Trump during the presidential election and after he was elected, while facilitating these deals.

These efforts included drafting Trump’s speech praising members of the country’s royal family, returning information to the emirate on how senior US officials felt about the Qatar boycott, and pledging to advance the interests of the UAE. includes doing. Ambassador or envoy to the Middle East.

Such an appointment “will give Abu Dhabi more power!” Barack said in a message obtained by federal prosecutors, referring to the UAE capital, which has tens of billions of dollars in assets from oil and gas deposits. I am writing that I am managing .

The US government is trying to present evidence in court that Barack was in close contact with the UAE’s Director of National Intelligence Ali Al-Shamsi.

β€œAl-Shamsi was one of the most important UAE government officials with whom the defendant had contact as part of the scheme indicted, and his role has been criticized, especially given his senior role in UAE intelligence operations. and liability testimony are central to this case,” the prosecutor wrote. in court papers.

The defense sought to eliminate evidence of Barrack’s extravagant lifestyle, and in court papers said it was based on “improper emotional appeal and creates a substantial risk of class bias.” He claims that he will ask a jury to convict Barack.

Barrack denies any wrongdoing. His lawyers said his contacts with the Emirates were not secret and had been disclosed to Trump’s campaign and administration. He told reporters as he left court on Tuesday that seeing the jury selection process gave him confidence that he would be acquitted.

“It’s a great system,” he said.

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https://www.ksat.com/news/politics/2022/09/21/opening-statements-set-for-trial-against-close-trump-ally/ Opening statements set for trial against Trump’s close allies

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