Former Trump adviser Thomas Barrack, who was arrested last week on illegal foreign lobbying charges, has thanked the “community” he spent time with in jail.
“I want to thank the fine men and women of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office, the United States Marshals Service and the Central District of California Court, Pretrial, and Probation teams,” Mr Barrack said in a statement on Friday. “They have difficult jobs and carry them out with great professionalism.”
The billionaire financier then thanked another group of “gentlemen”, whom he did not define but may have included his cellmates.
“I also want to recognize the grace and humanity of the gentlemen with whom I have shared a community over these last three days,” he wrote.
Mr Barrack, a longtime friend and adviser to Donald Trump, was arrested last Tuesday on charges of obstruction of justice, lying to the FBI, and acting as an unregistered foreign agent of the United Arab Emirates. He was released from jail on Friday, after reaching a bail deal including a $250 million bond.
Mr Barrack has repeatedly denied the charges, and says he will plead not guilty.
“I am innocent and will prove that in court,” he said in his Friday statement.
Under the terms of Mr Barrack’s release, he must wear a location-tracking bracelet, obey a curfew, and significantly limit his travel. He is also barred from transferring any of his vast fortune abroad.
Mr Barrack will be arraigned on Monday in Brooklyn, New York, where he is expected to plead not guilty.
The 74-year-old has known Mr Trump for four decades, and served as the head of his 2016 Inaugural Committee. Prosecutors say he and two accused co-conspirators exploited those connections to advance the UAE’s interests.
“The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected President… to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances,” the Department of Justice said last week in a statement. “The conduct alleged in the indictment is nothing short of a betrayal of those officials in the United States, including the former President.”
The two other defendants are Matthew Grimes, 27, and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, a UAE national.
Mr Grimes was also arrested last week and later released on bail. Mr Alshahhi fled the country in 2018, and has not been arrested.
Mr Barrack’s lawyers have fiercely defended his innocence.
“Mr Barrack has made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset,” his attorney, Matt Herrington, told news sources. “He is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty.”