EDNY accuses Tom Barrack of ‘harvesting assets’ by crafting policy to help UAE in a Trump presidency

The DOJ replaced Tom Barrack’s indictment. He did not charge any of his yet-to-be-indicted co-conspirators, though he added language relating to Paul Manafort’s role, making him US Person 1 and demoting Steve Bannon to US Person 2. new paragraphs on Manafort’s role depict him creating Trump’s platform. to agree to the promise to release 28 pages of the 9/11 report implicating the Saudis.

The big addition to the indictment, however, focuses on Barrack’s payoff: the UAE’s Sovereign Wealth Fund’s investment in Colony Capital (remember, Colony is paying for Barrack’s defense). In the two years since Barrack helped the UAE shape Trump policies, Colony secured commitments of $374 million in investments from the SWF.

According to records maintained by Company A, Company A did not raise any new capital from the UAE Sovereign Wealth Funds between 2009 and 2016. MATTHEW GRIMES and With the assistance of Defendant RASHID SULTAN RASHID AL MALIK ALSHAHHI and UAE officials, Company A raised approximately $374 million in capital commitments from UAE sovereign wealth funds.

The superseding indictment describes how Colony created a fund with the goal of “harvesting assets” that will benefit from a Trump presidency, gaining political credibility by contributing to Trump’s policies.

On or about December 13, 2016, Defendant MATTHEW GRIMES emailed himself a document summarizing the structure of the proposed investment fund, which stated in relevant part that “[w]while the primary objective of the [investment fund] [will be] to obtain disproportionate financial returns, he will also carry out a secondary mandate of gain political credibility for their contributions to the policies of [the President-Elect]. . . . We will do this by finding sources of investment, funding, operational improvement and harvest assets in . . . industries that will benefit the most from a [President-Elect] Presidency.” [my emphasis]

There are no accusations related to the “cropping” of Trump policies that Barrack would push (although that makes the confiscation allegations much more fleshed out). However, it makes it clear that this was the goal of the Trump presidency: to sell politics to wealthy autocrats around the world.

And especially given the way Barrack ensured that Mohammed bin Salman would be treated as if he were already crown prince by the Trump administration, that makes Jared Kushner’s similar “harvest” of Trump policies of all the more suspicious.

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