Federal Jury Delivers Major Victory to Trump Ally Over DOJ, FBI

After two days of deliberation, a Brooklyn, New York, jury on Friday acquitted Tom Barrack, the chair of former President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, of all charges related to Department of Justice claims that Barrack had acted as a foreign agent for the United Arab Emirates without first notifying the government.

Barrack, a friend and one-time fundraiser for the former president, was also cleared of charges that he had lied to the FBI during its investigation into his actions.

“God bless America,” he said after the verdict, for which he said he was grateful to the federal court jury. “The system is amazing.”

“I’m so moved by them and the system,” he said.

“I just feel grateful,” added his former aide, Matthew Grimes, Barrack’s co-defendant in the trial who was also found not guilty, according to NBC News.

Prosecutors had claimed that Barrack leveraged his long-time friendship with Trump to provide UAE officials with information about and access to the 2016 campaign and then, later, the White House itself, but he had never registered as a foreign agent. That charge alone carries a potential 10-year prison term.

He also faced charges of lying to investigators in 2019 and obstruction of justice.

Barrack said he planned to celebrate his acquittal with a visit to the Statue of Liberty, and with “a drink,” NBC reported.

Grimes, never the main focus of the investigation, was nevertheless “charged with serious felonies here that would have changed his life” if the jury had found him guilty, according to Abbe Lowell, his attorney.

The Friday verdict came on the same day that House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee released what they called a “1,000 Page Report” on the politicization of the FBI and DOJ. (In reality, they released a 50-page report with 1,000 pages of appendices, none of which contained any new information.)

The report detailed multiple problems within the agency, with whistleblower accounts suggesting that the FBI has been used more as a political weapon than a law enforcement agency. The key takeaway from the report is the claim that it exposed “FBI leadership abusing its law-enforcement authority for political reasons.”

Whistleblowers have described the bureau’s Washington hierarchy as “rotted at its core” and as having maintained a “systemic culture of unaccountability.”

The report accused the FBI of inflating statistics regarding domestic extremism to support President Joe Biden’s narrative that such extremism is a growing threat.

That allegation falls in line with the committee Republicans’ claim that the report “highlights how the FBI has weaponized the federal government against its political opponents.”

Last month, another Trump ally, former senior adviser Steve Bannon, was sentenced to four months in prison and a $6,500 fine for ignoring a subpoena from the so-called House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

That sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, who had been appointed to the D.C. bench by Trump.

“Stephen K. Bannon was found guilty by a jury today of two counts of contempt of Congress stemming from his failure to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 breach of the United States Capitol,” the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office said in a July 22 statement regarding Bannon’s conviction.

“Bannon, 68, was found guilty of one contempt count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents, despite a subpoena from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. The verdict followed a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“‘The subpoena to Stephen Bannon was not an invitation that could be rejected or ignored,’ said Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. ‘Mr. Bannon had an obligation to appear before the House Select Committee to give testimony and provide documents. His refusal to do so was deliberate and now a jury has found that he must pay the consequences.'”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.