Indicted Trump ally Thomas Barrack to be released on $250 million bond, must appear in New York next week
By Shayna Jacobs,
NEW YORK — A California judge on Friday set bail at $250 million for the billionaire investor and longtime friend of former president Donald Trump indicted on a charge of breaking foreign lobbying laws, ordering him to appear in federal court in New York next week.
Thomas J. Barrack, 74, who waived his court appearance for discussion of the prearranged release agreement, was freed from a jail in Los Angeles later Friday. His ex-wife Rachelle and son Thomas Barrack III were suretors on the bond.
Jonathan Grunzweig, an executive at Colony Capital, the investment firm Barrack founded, was the third person to endorse the major bond. Grunzweig is now chief investment officer for other equity and debt at DigitalBridge, which absorbed Colony Capital in 2015.
Barrack’s co-defendant, Matthew Grimes, 27, was freed on a $5 million bond. Both men must wear GPS monitoring devices and were ordered to travel to New York for an afternoon proceeding on Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.
They were indicted on charges related to failing to register as lobbyists for the United Arab Emirates, whose government they worked for for over two years beginning when Trump campaigned for office in 2016. The pair allegedly sought to influence Trump’s campaign — and later his administration — to advance policies that were favorable to the wealthy Gulf state.
Barrack, who served as chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, is also charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI agents in 2019.
Both men were arrested Tuesday. A third defendant, 43-year-old Rashid al-Malik, had been living in California but fled the country days after the FBI interviewed him in 2018. He is a citizen of the UAE.
At the court proceeding in Los Angeles on Friday, Matthew Herrington, an attorney for Barrack, asked permission for his client to spend the night at a hotel before he returns to his Santa Monica home and prepares to leave for New York. Barrack’s legal team also asked the court to ensure his monitoring device would be issued to him on Friday — so as not to delay his release.
“We have moved great mountains to ensure that Mr. Barrack is able to get out before the weekend so he can get to New York and appear for his arraignment Monday,” Herrington said.
An attorney for Grimes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.