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Donald Trump's friend was arrested in the U.S.

Billionaire Thomas Barak Jr., 74, used his influence to promote UAE interests in the White House and U.S. media

Billionaire Thomas Joseph Barak Jr., 74, a friend of 45th U.S. President Donald Trump and head of the former president's 2016 inaugural fund, was arrested Tuesday on charges of illegally lobbying UAE interests in the United States and providing false information to FBI officials.

This was reported by Reuters.

The indictment filed by the federal prosecutor's office in Brooklyn, New York, lists seven counts. Specifically, it says that Barak, while unregistered as a lobbyist on U.S. soil, used his influence to promote UAE foreign policy interests in the Donald Trump administration.

Thomas Barak was interviewed by the FBI, during which the businessman lied about his relationship with United Arab Emirates authorities.

“The defendants repeatedly used Barak's friendship and access to the candidate who was ultimately elected president, senior campaign and government officials, and the U.S. media to promote the foreign government's political goals without revealing his true allegiance,” the U.S. Department of State said in a release.

Barak, 74, is a longtime Trump ally and founder of DigitalBridge Group Inc, a private equity firm focused on digital infrastructure. Barak stepped down as CEO of DigitalBridge in 2020. DigitalBridge representatives declined to comment.

This is far from the first such scandal involving Donald Trump's entourage. In 2019, former Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani was investigated over activities in Ukraine. Investigators were trying to determine whether Giuliani had violated laws to prevent foreign influence on political processes in the United States.

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