EDNY Accuses Tom Barrack of “Harvesting Assets” by Crafting Policy to Help UAE in a Trump Presidency

DOJ has superseded Tom Barrack’s indictment. It did not charge any of his not-yet charged co-conspirators, though it added language pertaining to Paul Manafort’s role, making him US Person 1 and demoting Steve Bannon to US Person 2. Two new paragraphs about Manafort’s role describe him crafting Trump’s platform to take out a promise to release 28 pages of the 9/11 Report implicating the Saudis.

The big addition to the indictment, however, focuses on Barrack’s payoff: investment by UAE’s Sovereign Wealth Fund in Colony Capital (remember, Colony is paying for Barrack’s defense). In the two years after Barrack helped UAE craft Trump’s policies, Colony got commitments for $374 million in investments from the SWF.

According to records maintained by Company A, Company A raised no new capital from United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth funds between 2009 and 2016. However, in2017 and 2018, in part as a result of the efforts of the defendants THOMAS JOSEPH BARRACK and MATTHEW GRIMES and the assistance of the defendant RASHID SULTAN RASHID AL MALIK ALSHAHHI and United Arab Emirates officials, Company A raised approximately $374 million in capital commitments from United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth funds.

The superseding indictment describes how Colony set up a fund with the intent of “harvesting assets” that will benefit from a Trump presidency, garnering political credibility by contributing to Trump’s policies.

On or about December 13,2016, the defendant MATTHEW GRIMES emailed himself a document summarizing the structure of the proposed investment fund, which stated in relevant part that “[w]hile the primary purpose of the [investment fund] [will be] to achieve outsized financial returns, it will also accomplish a secondary mandate to garner political credibility for its contributions to the policies of [the President-Elect]. . . . We will do so by sourcing investing, financing, operationally improving, and harvesting assets in . . . those industries which will benefit most from a [President-Elect] Presidency.” [my emphasis]

There are no charges tied to “harvesting” the Trump policies that Barrack would push (though it makes the forfeiture allegations far meatier). It does, however, make it clear that’s what the Trump presidency was about: selling policy to rich autocrats around the world.

And particularly given the way Barrack ensured that Mohammed bin Salman would be treated as if he were already Crown Prince by the Trump administration, it makes Jared Kushner’s similar “harvesting” of Trump policies look all the more suspect.

32 replies
  1. JohnForde says:

    Note Trump “harvested assets” in the form of classified info on his way out the door to Mara Lago.

    Did some foreign investor also reap?

    • Rugger9 says:

      That point is under investigation now, i.e. that Individual-1 monetized his access to TS/SC documents in addition to being in gross violation of his POTUS oath to protect the USA. If anything the sale aspect makes the already existing concerns much worse, let’s recall how he outed MOSSAD on sources and methods to impress (IIRC) Lavrov. Also note we still do not know what was said at the many sidebar conversations with various unsavory leaders (Putin, MBS, etc.) because interpreters were deliberately excluded.

      The other thing to consider is the debts coming due for servicing for TrumpOrg which is a pretty powerful motive to sell everyone out. Cases in point: Jared’s 2 billion bikkies (possibly a Trump Org expense) and the campaigns continuing refusal to pay El Paso, et al. their just debts. Kavanaugh’s payoff of his own mounting debts calls into question his vote to allow Ted Cruz’s loans to be paid (it’s unlimited now), but FWIW I suspect that TrumpOrg will leverage that for covering Individual-1’s financial worries.

  2. OldTulsaDude says:

    It now makes sense that once his gravy-train presidency was rejected by America, Trump’s penchant for revenge has led him to try to destroy the country that in his mind turned against him. What an incredible grift: American policy to the highest bidder.

    Thank you Dr. Wheeler for all you do.

    • Anathema Device says:

      “led him to try to destroy the country that in his mind turned against him”

      Trump has no loyalty to blood relatives, or mercy even for the dying and children. What on earth makes you think he would ever stay his hand from betraying his country if it makes him a buck?

      Especially when his connections and involvement with Russia and organised crime with foreign backing go back decades?

  3. Peterr says:

    I can’t find it right now, but I recall that when Trump rolled out his immigrant ban, one of the big questions was whether it would affect holders of and applicants for the EB5 “Investor Visa” aka “Golden Visa” holder who agree to bring a large chunk of money into the country in exchange for a visa outside of ordinary channels.

    After a day or so, the answer was clear: It didn’t.

    I seem to recall — but am much hazier on this one — that Trump later wanted to expand the program. Perhaps it was more EB5 visas, or raising the amount of money you’d have to invest to qualify for an EB5 visa.

    Either way, selling visas certainly fits this “harvesting assets” behavior. Yes, the program pre-dated Trump, but he certainly was aware of it and wanted to use it to his advantage.

    • Geoguy says:

      You might be thinking of Jared Kushner’s sister promoting their 1 Journal Square project in Jersey City to Chinese investors in exchange for EB5 visas. For example, see “The SEC is investigating the Kushner family’s company over its use of a controversial visa program” by Brennan Weiss on Jan 6, 2018 at Business Insider.

    • Rayne says:

      So the entire Trump Muslim Ban was both cover for and the mechanism by which the U.S. visas could be harvested as assets. Explains why the ban wasn’t absolute in several ways; an all-Muslim ban wouldn’t get by SCOTUS, would piss off the initial clientele. There are enough holes left in who still could get a visa allowing for wealthy parents of students to buy a visa (or access).

      One of the tells is that the ban was launched the first week Trump was in office. Ex. How the hell could Trump’s administration which didn’t yet have appointees in place (and may never have fully filled all State Dept. appointments or roles) say that “”…Iran regularly fails to cooperate with officials,” as POLITICO reported.

      Excerpt from POLITICO

      Adder: banning Yemenis would have been a chit to the Saudis upfront, too.

      Now I’d like to know why we haven’t seen Ivanka and Jared indicted as well. Is Barrack falling on his sword for them?

  4. viget says:


    Saw that Dr. Wheeler was commenting on J6 State Dept links on Twitter. Note that both the Asst. Secy and the J6 defendant had ties to Family Research Council. Also note that the AS’s remit includes liasing with USAID to run elections in developing democracies.

    I’ve seen chatter around some role USAID might’ve had in the pre-J6 plot that seemed to have been foiled by law enforcement/FBI/DHS.

      • viget says:

        See @gal_suburban ‘s TL generally, and
        this substack series in particular.

        Yes, not confirmed by media reporting, yet, but that WaPo article seemed to be perhaps hinting in that direction.

        Why otherwise would State be involved?

          • Doctor My Eyes says:

            Yikes! That’s some chilling stuff, right there. “Don’t let anything distract from your duties” “serving the President”. Yeah, little things like that you’re busy overthrowing the government of the United States, and some citizens may object. If the FBI or other law enforcement foiled this plot, as I think was claimed, why were there no charges filed?

            • viget says:

              The intelligence is far more valuable. Who actually financed the plot? What foreign governments might have been involved? How did it connect to the broader J6 conspiracy? Answering those questions takes time.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            On the post about a witness against Tom Barrack being paid $15K a month, I made a comment about Ivanka Trump and Alexandra Preate attending an event sponsored by the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

            Only 6 women were listed at that event, but one of them was Catharine O’Neill (who, strangely, was once thought to be a potential challenger to Liz Cheney.) I mention this because O’Neill also shows up in the thread you and viget shared. She’s said to be a Rockefeller heir. (Another one of the 6 women was
            Morgan Ortagus who worked for USAID in 2008. She also said she was close friends with Eric and Ivanka Trump.)

          • Eureka says:

            I remember these threads — gal_ suburban got started on this back in January (and this concatenated trunk-tree continues through early April).

            Recalled this when — flip side of the coin — Michael Tracey ~ 4/20 was nattering on about USAID (having helped with parking) in Ukraine as evidence of our “granular” embeddedness there (he was getting mercilessly dunked on for it too, no worries there).

            Since Tracey, ASS, ilk are always burning both ends of the roman candle, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that his obscure, isolated pointing at USAID was “informed”, so to say [it’s totally their style to invert the discourse — or rather to thoroughly embed a topic within their inverted frames — before it becomes identified as significant to the mainstream as part of any given RW extremist plot. _If_ they can get ahold of it in time to do advance work as opposed to the standard propaganda-in-parallel].

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Interesting. USAID has long been suspected of overly close ties with the CIA.

      • viget says:


        Makes me think about that Gina Haspel rumor of “resignation”. Kinda around the same timeline.

  5. Riktol says:

    In your previous post you said “The answer EDNY provided was yes, they reserve the right to supersede the indictment and it might happen in June”, so this is 2-6 weeks early.
    Purely on the basis of workload, it seems unlikely DOJ would supersede in mid May, and then again in June.
    The other tea leaf I’d point to is that by superseding early, it seems plausible that something that was originally planned to be in the superseding indictment has been cancelled.
    On that basis, I wonder if Barrack’s “not-yet charged co-conspirators” are celebrating now?

    (edit) Just realised if I had clicked through the June timeframe was given on March 22nd, which is a month after the war started. So it seems equally plausible that at the time they were busy and they built in extra time that they didn’t need.

  6. Bruce Olsen says:

    This is a bit OT (though still related to foreign corruption of TFG And Co-conspirators) but what happened with the Russian money that was apparently sent to the NRA?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Almost every GOP power center had Russian oligarch money sloshing through it, including Governor DeSantis of FL while still in the House. It’s one reason the public employees union still has substantial assets in Russia and DeSantis is betting Putin will bring it back.

  7. Eureka says:

    In re historical patterns, rich ME autocrats’ love of the US entertainment industry, and the the general hollowing out of the country’s assets:

    I find it interesting that those hot-and-heavy investment comms drop off late Sept. 2017 just before opportunity knocked in the form of NYT and New Yorker publications of the initial accusations against Harvey Weinstein. This is like a missing dog (a needed/potential investor), a dog not barking in some other country …

    Recall that Barrack / Colony Capital were all-but-set to buy The Weinstein Company in October 2017. The deal fell through ostensibly because there was no way to do it without enriching Weinstein (which could be taken in more ways than the sort of feel-good ~’let’s not enrich an accused sexual predator’ way that was left implied by context at the time). [Aside: recall too that Harvey Levin’s TMZ greased this story’s wheels as with those of all the other Trumpworld figures at the time.]

    Barrack (and the Qatari sovereign wealth fund) had previously flipped the original Weinstein brothers’ studio, Miramax, to a Qatari state-owned network for a hefty profit. [Wiki says Miramax was owned by Disney, not the W bros, at 2010 time of Barrack/QIA’s purchase; was sold to the Qatari state network in 2016.]

    One might guess from that pattern that should Colony have acquired TWC in/post 2017 after all, it could have been flipped to UAE in a manner similar to how the deal went with Miramax.

    Looking at different angles of the prism… (self-and-extra-US-autocrat enrichment, flipping US-owned assets out of the country to draw rents from the Western world).

  8. OldTulsaDude says:

    Not “Raindrops on roses” but I’m pretty sure these are favorite things.

    Harvested assets
    and big fat donations

    monetized speeches,
    corrupt oil-rich nations

    some rulers miffed
    that embargoes may shift
    based on response to the ultimate grift.

    When the Saudis
    hold their cash out
    and my eyes get big

    I simply remember
    why they now pretend
    they won’t kill again.

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