Former President Donald Trump’s friend and fundraiser, Tom Barrack, was found not guilty Friday on all counts he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under the former administration and then lied to the FBI about those connections.
Barrack, once the chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, had vehemently denied the charges he secretly worked under orders by the UAE to manipulate U.S. foreign policy in its favor.
The 75-year-old told the Brooklyn court he had arranged meetings between Emirati and White House officials and made media comments praising the UAE government simply because he wanted to, and not at any other party’s direction.
AP reports the jury deliberated three days before delivering a verdict and finding Barrack not guilty.
Barrack is an old friend of Trump and is a California billionaire in his own right.
Before being indicted, Barrack came to wider public attention by raising $107 million for Trump’s inaugural celebration following the 2016 election.
Barrack said after the decision he was thankful to the jury. “I’m so moved by them and the system,” he said.
NBC News reports Barrack’s co-defendant, former aide Matthew Grimes, was also found not guilty of acting as an unregistered foreign agent. “I just feel grateful,” Grimes said.
While Grimes was not the main focus of prosecutors’ case, “he was charged with serious felonies here that would have changed his life” had he been convicted, said his attorney, Abbe Lowell.
Asked what he planned to do after the victory, Barrack said he was going to visit the Statue of Liberty — and “have a drink.”
“God bless America,” he said. “The system is amazing.”