Trump’s aide Tom Barrack in court in UAE lobbying case

Trump's aide Tom Barrack in court in UAE lobbying case

Thomas Barrack, Executive Chairman and CEO of Colony Capital, attends a panel discussion at the Milken Institute’s Annual Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 28, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.

Michael Kovac | Getty Images

A lawyer for Tom Barracks – the private equity investor who is a close friend of former President Donald Trump – on Thursday urged federal prosecutors to quickly turn over evidence in his criminal charges that Barracks had sided with of the Trump administration for the United Arab Emirates. Illegal lobby.

Barrack’s defense attorney Matthew Harrington asked why he had not yet received all or most of the documents, adding that federal officials had gathered evidence relating to the 74-year-old barracks over the past four years. years.

Harrington raised the issue at the first status conference in the case in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, where Barracks and his partner Matthew Grimes accused him of acting covertly to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates. pleaded not guilty to the indictment. Trump’s 2016 campaign and again during his presidency.

Barracks is free on a $ 250 million bond, while Grimes is free on a $ 5 million bond. A third defendant, UAE national Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahi, 43, lives on the run.

Barrack’s attorney said documents submitted by prosecutors last month also failed to include material cited in the indictment against Barracks and Grimes, 27.

Harrington told Judge Brian Kogan that as a result, she “suffers from a really deep information asymmetry.”

Criminal cases require prosecutors to share with defense lawyers what forms the basis of their allegations that a defendant has broken the law.

And they are specifically required to share any information they have that can be used to show that an accused has not allegedly violated the law.

Such potentially incriminating evidence is known as “Brady material” after a court case that established defendants’ rights to this information.

During Thursday’s hearing, Harrington told Kogan that prosecutors “take the position that Brady is not important that they have identified at this point, which to me is surprising.”

Harrington said the indictment contains allegations citing evidence he believes is Brady’s material.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Harris told the judge that since July 20, when Barracks and Grimes were arrested, prosecutors have turned over to defense attorneys over 100,000 pages of documents and provided more evidence “on a continuous basis ”. Will continue to do

“We made 10 productions [of sets of documents] In about 30 days, ”Harris said.

The prosecutor said that despite Barracks’ attorney’s claims to the contrary, the government does not consider any of the evidence used in the indictment to be Brady’s material.

Asked by Kogan what percentage of the total evidence is 100,000 pages, Harris said, “It’s a little hard to say.”

But Harris also said the government expected “considerable progress” from the next status conference, tentatively scheduled for November 2.

“Do as much as you can,” Kogan said, adding that prosecutors should be able to give defense lawyers all of the documents used for the indictment within the next 30 days.

Thursday’s hearing lasted only 15 minutes and ended by videoconference.

When it started, Grimes attorney Matthew Schwartz explained where Grimes could be seen on the video stream, calling him “The Bobby Brady Box”.

Schwartz was referring to the opening credits of the iconic 1970s TV show “The Brady Bunch”, where Bobby’s character, child actor Mike Lookinland, could be seen in the lower right corner of Nine Squares.

Aside from discussions of Brady’s evidence and material – legal material, not TV shows – and the scheduling of the next hearing, the only other issues mentioned in detail concerned the possibility and process of sharing information. classified between the parties. for which it will be used.

Harrington said: “We agree that there are [classified] The material comes from both sides.

Barracks, chairman of Trump’s 2017 groundbreaking fund, stepped down as CEO of Colony Capital in 2020. He stepped down as executive chairman of the company in April.

Correction: Matthew Schwartz referred to the opening credits of the 1970s TV show “The Brady Bunch”. An earlier version misidentified it.

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