The 74-year-old investment firm founder served as principal advisor to the former US president’s 2016 campaign, and was considered a top fundraiser.
Mr Barracks is accused of illegally lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates during and after the operation. A spokesman for Mr Barracks said he planned to plead not guilty. He is the latest former Trump official to face federal charges. Mr Barracks has been charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to the FBI during a 2019 interview. According to the seven-page indictment, Matthew Grimes, 27 – who works for Mr Barracks – and UAE national Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahi, 43, have also been indicted.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko said the conduct alleged in the indictment was “no less than a betrayal” of US officials, including Mr Trump himself.
The three men are accused of trying to advance the interests of the UAE government by influencing Trump officials and making appearances in the media. While Mr Barrack and Mr Grimes were both arrested in California on Tuesday morning, Mr Alshahi is still on the run. With the announcement, Mr Barracks became the latest Trump aide to face criminal charges, including that of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen.