After Donald Trump’s former 2017 inaugural committee was detained on Tuesday, Melania Trump’s former advisor and once best friend told the DailyMail that “this might be the beginning of the end” for the Trumps.
Thomas Barrack, 74, is facing federal charges in Los Angeles for allegedly lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates during Trump’s presidential campaign and later while in office.
He was charged with a seven-count indictment for attempting to push the UAE’s agenda in the United States and influence the previous administration’s foreign policy.
“This is big news, I need time to process it,” Winston-Wolkoff stated.
“This could be the beginning of the end for all of them,’ she said. ‘Tom is so integral to everything in Trump’s universe that it could affect the Trump family in a very significant way.”
Winston Wolkoff was Barrack’s Senior Advisor on the Presidential Inaugural Committee, and she constantly raised concerns and red flags about the irregularities in the figures, as she documented in her #1 New York Times book “Melania & Me: The Rise & Fall Of My Friendship With The First Lady.”
Barrack is the founder of the private equity firm Colony Capital, though he stood down as CEO in 2020 and resigned as executive chairman in April.
He has known Trump since the 1980s and is a personal friend of his.
‘He is the only person I know who the president speaks to as a peer,’ Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone said.
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Barrack was scheduled to appear in federal court in Southern California for an initial appearance.
Prosecutors apparently had enough evidence to charge Trump Inaugural Chair Tom Barrack with serious felonies well before 2021. Did AG Barr or US Attorney inappropriately suppress his case or other cases? @RepKathleenRice & I requested IG to investigate. https://t.co/gXVGS1SIPh
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 23, 2021
During a June 20, 2019 interview with federal law enforcement officers, Barrack was charged with serving as an unregistered foreign agent, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making several false statements.
The charges were filed in the borough of Brooklyn.
Furthermore, Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, aka Rashid Al Malik, 43, a UAE native, are charged of acting and conspiring to operate as UAE agents between April 2016 and April 2018, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Wow! Tom Barrack bond is $250 million dollars. Earlier: https://t.co/ML5DEhqUPW
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) July 23, 2021
“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 said in a release.
‘Nothing short of a betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former President,’ Lesko said of the alleged behavior.
“Through this indictment, we are putting everyone on notice that the Department of Justice will enforce the prohibition of this type of undeclared foreign interference, regardless of their wealth or perceived political power,” the statement stated.
The US attorney for the Eastern District of New York wrote to the judge in Los Angeles, describing Barrack as a “severe flight risk” with access to private planes, and requesting strict bail restrictions.
I trust EDNY know what they are doing with Tom Barrack. They have investigated him for over two years. They AGREED to this deal
$250 million bail, surrendered passports, wears GPS ankle bracelet. Has curfew and limits to where is allowed to be (nowhere near airports) pic.twitter.com/mkTDewGf5S
— Tomi T Ahonen (@tomiahonen) July 23, 2021
Barrack’s net worth was estimated to be $1 billion by Forbes in 2013.
In 2010, Barrack aided Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and White House staffer, in resolving a $70 million debt he owed on Manhattan’s ailing 666 Fifth Avenue tower.
Trump reportedly summoned Barrack and asked him to assist Kushner in avoiding bankruptcy on the $1.8 billion tower purchase.
Barrack was deposed in November as part of a lawsuit filed by the D.C. attorney general accusing the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee of misusing non-profit donations to enrich the Trump family.
Barrack had hired Rick Gates, Paul Manafort’s No. 2 who was sentenced to prison for his Ukraine lobbying, to help plan the inaugural as chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
An investigation showed that Gates authorized the PIC, a non-profit, to enter contracts with the Trump hotel that was at least twice the market rate,’ according to D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine’s office in a January 2020 statement announcing the complaint.
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former staffer to former first lady Melania Trump who later penned a book about her, cautioned Trump friends and family members that the pricing could be a problem.
“Despite this warning, Gates allowed the PIC to enter into a contract with the Trump Hotel for four days of event space at a total cost of $1.03 million, an amount far above even the Hotel’s own internal pricing guidelines,” the release from Racine’s office said.
'This could be the beginning of the end for all of them,' Stephanie Winston-Wolkoff said. 'Tom is so integral to everything in Trump’s universe that it could affect the Trump family in a very significant way.'”
— Margo Howard (@Margoandhow) July 21, 2021
Barrack had urged Trump to employ Manafort as his campaign chairman in the past.
Barrack repaired Trump’s image with ‘Arab princes’ whose feathers were ruffled when Trump suggested a ‘Muslim ban as a candidate in December 2015.
Barrack is described as a “fellow tycoon and a charming courtier, a confidant and a power broker” in the tale.
After al-Otaiba claimed ‘confusion regarding your friend Donald Trump is VERY high,’ Barrack calms down UAE’s Amb. Yousef al-Otaiba by pointing up Trump’s ‘joint ventures in the UAE’ – a Trump International Golf Club in Dubai – in April 2016 emails.
Barrack later introduced Otaiba and Kushner through email.
“You will love him and he agrees with our agenda!” he told the Emirati about the GOP candidate’s son-in-law.
Barrack also tells the tabloid that he has turned down offers to be Trump’s Treasury Secretary or Ambassador to Mexico.
Prosecutors had evidence last year to charge prominent Trump ally Tom Barrack https://t.co/VPfpRcaUxT
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 22, 2021
Barrack also applied for a job as a special envoy for Middle Eastern economic development in the White House, but the position was never filled during Trump’s one term in office.
At the time, a spokesperson for Barrack stated that Barrack “sees his business in the Middle East as a way to help political dialogue and understanding, not the other way around,” and that he does so through relationships that go back to the reigns of even some of the current regional rulers’ grandfathers.