Some Trumpers Going To Emergency, Some Trumpers Going To Jail
What a difference an AG makes! Donald Trump's former BFF Tom Barrack, a real estate gazillionaire who chaired Trump's hinky AF inaugural committee, was just arrested by the feds for
violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act [Edit] Failing to register as an agent of a foreign government, obstruction of justice, and lying to the FBI.
Don't worry, Donny, you'll catch up eventually!
The seven-count indictment, dated July 16 and unsealed today in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that Barrack used his position of trust to secretly influence both candidate Trump and his blighted administration for the benefit of the United Arab Emirates. And, yes, EDNY is the same office which is investigating the inauguration. Looks like they might just have gotten their hands on some substantial leverage!
"The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack's friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected President, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances," Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko of the DOJ's National Security Division said in a press release. "The conduct alleged in the indictment is nothing short of a betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former President. Through this indictment, we are putting everyone — regardless of their wealth or perceived political power — on notice that the Department of Justice will enforce the prohibition of this sort of undisclosed foreign influence."
Oh, yeah, we're betting the former President is real broke up about being betrayed by a guy who was clearly in bed with the Saudis and the Emiratis from the jump.
Barrack's efforts during the campaign and the transition on behalf of Emirati Crown Prince Muhamed bin Zayed (colloquially known as MbZ) included reviewing a draft of candidate Trump's speech with his clients and working to insert praise of the UAE and remove references to "dictatorships," as well as working with them to draft an editorial praising "the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, [where] brilliant young leaders are crafting forward-looking policies to effectively forge a new Middle East." The editorial ran under his own name with no disclosure that it was written at the behest of a foreign government.
And now we will stop and contemplate the karmic wonder of a universe where Barrack was chatting up incoming National Security Advisor Mike Flynn about his grand plans for the Middle East, just as Flynn himself was drafting his own editorial at the behest of his own secret client, the Turkish government. UAE and Turkey are ... not friends. Also, the editorial was one of the reasons Mueller popped Flynn for violating FARA. Okay, perhaps it's not karma as much as endemic corruption in the grifter crew with which Trump surrounded himself. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
During the inauguration planning, Barrack's Emirati clients gleefully contemplated four years with a man inside to argue their case with the dipshit president.
"You are our secret weapon," they gushed, as they plotted their strategy to pump Trump for all he was worth.
"I have our regional interest in high profile," Barrack promised as he gave his UAE officials real time insight into potential Trump administration appointees, including secretaries of State and Defense and the head of the CIA.
Once Trump was sworn in, Barrack lobbied the administration to get the Muslim Brotherhood designated a terrorist organization in accordance with his Emirati clients' wishes. He even tried to get himself appointed ambassador to UAE as part of his plan to serve UAE interests, which "would give Abu Dhabi more power!"
Most hair-raising was Barrack's attempted intervention to get President Babyhands to support the Saudi/Emirati blockade of Qatar in the summer of 2017.
And in the beginning, it actually worked, with that fucking fool actually taking credit for the operation on June 6, 2017: "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"
"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar," he blarbled. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"
Eventually, Rex Tillerson managed to impress upon that fucking moron that the US had 10,000 troops stationed in Qatar and blockading it was not on. And eventually the Emiratis appear to have soured on Barrack. But that won't save him from the prosecutors at EDNY.
Good luck, Tommy. You're gonna need it.
And with that, it's your OPEN THREAD.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.