Thomas Barrack, a top fundraiser for Donald Trump and ex-chairman of the former president’s inaugural committee, resigned from the USC Board of Trustees Wednesday, one day after his arrest on charges of unlawfully lobbying for the United Arab Emirates.
“Tom Barrack has voluntarily resigned from the USC Board of Trustees effective immediately,” according to a statement from the board Wednesday.
Barrack, 74, of Santa Monica, was arrested in the Southland Tuesday in connection with a seven-count federal indictment unsealed in New York. He is expected to appear in court in downtown Los Angeles on Monday.
Barrack, who founded the Los Angeles-based Colony Capital real estate investment firm, was elected to the USC Board of Trustees in 2012. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the university in 1969 and attended the USC Gould School of Law. He earned his law degree at the University of San Diego.
He was indicted along with Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, a UAE national, according to the Department of Justice. Alshahhi remains at large.
According to federal authorities, the indictment alleges a conspiracy to advance the interests of the UAE in the United States “at the direction of senior UAE officials.” The defendants are accused of working on behalf of UAE “by influencing the foreign policy positions” of Trump’s campaign and of the U.S. government following Trump’s election.
“The conduct alleged in the indictment is nothing short of a betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former president,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said in a statement. “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.”
The three defendants are accused in the indictment of acting and conspiring to act as agents of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018. Barrack is also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 20, 2019, interview with federal law enforcement.
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