My sources in NY real estate are asking if the indictment against Tom Barrack is actually about Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) violations or if it’s just another way to get to Trump, if Weisselberg does not talk.
The other speculation is that this is a way to get to Kushner, since Barrack’s dealings were more with Kushner than Trump.
Tom Barrack’s connections are all over the place, and he has long had his name tied with allegations of crony capitalism.
He shows up in Epstein's black book with 9 phone numbers associated under his name:…
I reported in “Kushner, Inc.” that, in 2011, when Jared Kushner needed help with the ill-fated 666 Fifth Ave—by then under water—Trump put him in touch with Barrack.
Barrack’s investment firm, Colony Capital, raised significant amounts of money from the Middle East. When Kushner called him for help back in 2011, Barrack had just set up a debt fund, so the timing was good.
Without approaching any of the other lenders (which would have been normal procedure in such circumstances), Colony went right to Paramount Group and bought half of its debt.
As I report in my book, Barrack introduced Kushner to the UAE ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, who had invested at least $1M with Barrack. “You will love him, and he agrees with our agenda,” Barrack had written to Otaiba. Otaiba reported to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi—known as MBZ.
Barrack is also the person who recommended to Kushner and Ivanka that the Trump campaign hire an old political friend of his to help out: Paul Manafort.
Everyone with D.C. political experience knew Manafort was sleazy, and he’d been out of U.S. politics for ten years because of his ties to foreign powers—he’d taken money from Ukrainian oligarchs, Russians, and anyone who would pay him.
Manafort was not particular if that money “went through 25 foreign bank accounts” and he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires people who lobby for foreign interests to register with the federal government.
“He’s never understood in his entire life that the implications of his relationships are enough to sink him,” Manafort’s former colleague said.
Federal election laws bar campaigns from knowingly soliciting contributions from “foreign nationals”—a category that includes foreign citizens, corporations, and governments.
These laws bar people and entities from contributing to a campaign anything of value—directly or indirectly, money or otherwise (with some limited exceptions). Foreign nationals are also barred from having decision-making authority in U.S. political campaigns.
Barrack felt confident enough in the new friendship to write to Otaiba, “I would like to align in Donald’s mind the connection between the UAE & Saudi Arabia, which we have already started with Jared.” Barrack said Manafort was “totally programmed" on the alignment of the UAE.
Barrack was also appointed to run Trump’s inauguration committee.
Soon after the election, Barrack’s jet touched down in Qatar around the time the Qatar Investment Authority was finalizing negotiations, as part of a deal with a Swiss mining firm, to purchase a nearly 20% stake in Rosneft—the Russian state oil company—for $12.2 billion.
An Italian banking group, Intesa Sanpaolo—which, according to a source with knowledge, has ties to Barrack—would be involved in the transfer of funds.
A few months later, Barrack asked Trump for the ambassadorship to Brazil, according to a source. Trump turned him down, fearing he might not pass a Senate confirmation hearing.
Barrack went on to try to wield influence in other ways, including advising Trump and Kushner on how to bring peace to the Middle East.
And now Barrack has been charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government. It will be VERY interesting to see how this all plays out. As they say: Stay tuned…
Barrack was spotted a few days ago in Aspen. Sources say he has just bought a new yacht. Possibly, he won’t have that much time to spend on it in the near future.

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More from @VickyPJWard

21 Jul
I was thrilled to join @danprimack on @AxiosReCap today to discuss yesterday’s arrest of Tom Barrack whose indictment raises some really, really troubling questions.…
I heard the name Tom Barrack as far back as 2014 when I was writing a book about the world of New York real estate. He was a big connector between the New York players and the money in the Middle East.
I wrote a whole book—"Kushner, Inc."—around the allegation that the Trump Administration’s foreign policy was run basically as one big effort to bail out Jared Kushner’s family’s financial problems.

Tom Barrack was the man in the middle.
Read 17 tweets
19 Jul
Jeffrey Epstein wanted the world to think he was some amazing money manager for billionaires only. But the story is so much more complicated than that. He was many things: A sexual predator, a con artist, an embezzler, an arms dealer, and part of an intelligence network.
There’s been a lot of focus on Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual crimes. My podcast “Chasing Ghislaine” is not really about that. Instead, it’s about the men—the circle of male power that surrounded Jeffrey Epstein and enabled his sex-trafficking enterprise.
There have been many boldface names associated with Epstein: Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew, financier Leon Black, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, retail king Les Wexner. These men are why we are still talking about Jeffrey Epstein two years later.
Read 5 tweets
15 Jul
When I was assigned to write about Jeffrey Epstein in 2002, I spoke to him almost daily for several months for my reporting. Our conversations were originally off the record, but we’re releasing them now in the public interest in “Chasing Ghislaine.”
In re-reading the transcripts, I was struck by his staggering, untempered misogyny. But I could also see now—given all we've learned since 2002—where he had blatantly lied. Some of the lies were so bizarre, they clearly told me something. So I went out and re-reported the story.
I have spent almost 20 years on this story, but I did not do it alone. I want to thank everyone who spoke to me for my original article, for my reporting since then, and for the podcast.
Read 8 tweets
26 Jan
Thank you to @morningmika, @JoeNBC, and @WillieGeist for having me and @Fahrenthold on @Morning_Joe today to talk about the Trump family’s financial future.

A few thoughts:
As @fahrenthold has reported, the Trump business has real financial problems. Banks are running.…
But, as I noted, the Kushners—thanks to Trump’s pardon of Charles Kushner—are now extremely liquid and ARE very bankable. A couple of my sources say the idea of the Kushners buying the Trump assets is now being seriously discussed. They may just strip his name off the properties.
Read 6 tweets
24 Dec 20
Of course Trump was going to pardon Charles Kushner. This was a forgone conclusion.
In Aug 2016, I wrote a piece for @esquire about Jared Kushner that predicted the inevitability of this moment. I said Jared viewed the gold-plated vision of a Trump White House as the ultimate step in a carefully plotted ascent to redemption for his…
This is hardly the first time that money has bent the ordinary path of American justice. In many ways, the painting over of a family stain has become a rite of dynastic passage in the United States.
Read 5 tweets
29 Sep 20
In KUSHNER INC, I write about how after Trump’s casinos + the Plaza wound up in bankruptcy proceedings in the 90s, the number of blue-chip lenders who would do business with Trump Org dwindled. Its value was no longer as a conventional real estate development biz, but as a brand.
By the time the Trump children joined the family business, it had morphed from a development firm into more of a licensing shop, dependent on global partners.
The path to success for the Trump kids in this organization was to bring him a new project, of which they could retain ownership. They did not write memos or budgets or project costs. They did not even keep files.
Read 5 tweets

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