Trump inaugural committee chairman, charged with illegal lobbying effort, ordered released on $250M bond

Tom Barrack, founder of Colony Capital, and a close ally of former President Donald Trump, has been arrested for violating foreign lobbying laws. Here he delivers a speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
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Thomas Barrack — the chairman of former President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee who is charged with leveraging his relationship with Trump to illegally advance interests of the United Arab Emirates — was ordered released Friday on a $250 million bond by a federal judge in Los Angeles.

The bond was secured by $5 million in cash.

Barrack, 74, must surrender his passport and is subject to GPS monitoring, an electronic bracelet and a 10 p.m.to 6 a.m. curfew. He also cannot make any financial transactions overseas or domestic transactions over $50,000 without government consent, unless it covers legal fees.

A longtime Trump ally, Barrack is the latest to join a list of former Trump officials who have faced criminal charges, including Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser and Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist.

Barrack is charged alongside Matthew Grimes, a 27-year-old business associate of Barrack’s whose release was also ordered Friday on a $5 million bond, and UAE national Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, who is still at large.

Both Barrack and Grimes waived their right to appear in court in person Friday and have been jailed since Tuesday, when the indictment against them was unsealed. The two men were ordered by the judge to appear in person in a New York Eastern District Court Monday.

A lawyer for Barrack did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barrack, Grimes indicted earlier this week

In a seven-count indictment, prosecutors on Tuesday charged Barrack and Grimes with illegally acting as agents of the UAE. Barrack was also charged with “making multiple false statements” to federal agents.

By law, foreign government representatives are required to register as foreign agents with the Justice Department.

Prosecutors allege Barrack used his close relationship with former President Donald Trump as well as media appearances from 2016 to 2017 to advocate on behalf of the UAE. In detailed emails and text messages, Emirati officials praised Barrack’s lobbying efforts within the Trump administration.

In one instance, authorities allege Barrack inserted language praising the UAE in a Trump campaign speech on U.S. energy policy and "emailed an advance draft of the speech to Alshahhi for delivery to senior UAE officials."

In the wake of the indictments, Barack withdrew plans to take his special purpose acquisition company, Falcon Peak Acquisition Corp., public, according to CNN.

Contributing: Kevin Johnson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump ally charged with illegal lobbying ordered released on $250M bond

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