Thomas Barrack was heckled on his way to pleading not guilty to federal charges of illegally lobbying Donald Trump on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
The private equity investor who served as the ex-president’s inaugural committee chair was called a “traitor” as he arrived at a New York court.
“It’s our democracy. It’s our democracy, not yours traitor,” a man can be heard yelling in a video posted online. “It’s our democracy a**hole.”
Mr Barrack, 74, also greeted a man holding a “DIRTY TRAITOR” sign at the arraignment on seven counts of “acting and conspiring to act as agents of the UAE”, according to CNBC.
Judge Sanket Bulsara maintained Mr Barrack’s $250m release bond and ordered him to avoid any contact with officials from the country, the outlet reported. He was also ordered to not travel on private aircraft or conduct foreign financial transactions while limiting domestic transactions to less than $50,000.
Prosecutors argued in a memo last week that Mr Barrack was a flight risk as he holds dual US-Lebanese citizenship and had access to a private jet. His lawyer denied that Mr Barrack owns a plane, CNBC reported.
Mr Barrack has denied the allegations and said in a statement on Friday that he would prove his innocence in court.
The billionaire who has been friends with Mr Trump for four decades was arrested last week on charges that also included obstruction of justice and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Prosecutors allege he and two co-conspirators exploited that friendship to advocate for the UAE’s “wish list” within the White House and in news organizations, including during a 2016 interview on national television.
According to the indictment, Mr Barrack subsequently emailed a co-conspirator, UAE national Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, that he “nailed it” for the “home team”.
While defence attorney Matt Herrington did not immediately respond to The Independent, he said in an email to Law&Crime that Mr Barrack would plead not guilty in fighting the allegations.
“Tom Barrack made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset,” Mr Herrington wrote in an email.