Federal prosecutors examining Trump friend's role in foreign lobbying: report

Federal prosecutors examining Trump friend's role in foreign lobbying: report
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Federal prosecutors are investigating the role of Thomas Barrack, a top campaign fundraiser and close friend of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE, and his connections to the foreign lobby, the New York Times reported Sunday. 

Barrack has been investigated for potentially violating the law requiring people who try to influence American policy or opinion at the direction of foreign governments or entities to disclose their activities to the Justice Department, people familiar with the case told the Times.

He was reportedly interviewed last month by prosecutors in the public integrity unit of the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn.


Barrack’s spokesman, Owen Blicksilver, told the Times that Barrack's lawyer contacted the prosecutors’ office again and “confirmed they have no further questions for Mr. Barrack.”

Barrack has not been accused of wrongdoing, according to the Times.

Among the interactions reportedly investigated include Barrack coordinating the language in a draft of a speech on energy given by Trump with contacts including Rashid al-Malik, an Emirati businessman who is close to the rulers of the United Arab Emirates.

Barrack's aides told the Times that he acted as an independent intermediary between Persian Gulf leaders and the Trump campaign and administration, never on behalf of any foreign official or entity.

Questions about Barrack complying with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) arose during former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election before being referred to the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

Three former Trump campaign aides charged by Mueller acknowledged violating FARA in their guilty pleas: Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer DOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr's Russia probe interviews MORE, Rick GatesRick GatesEx-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testifies against former Obama counsel Gregory Craig Federal prosecutors examining Trump friend's role in foreign lobbying: report The question isn't whether Trump obstructed justice, but whether Congress even cares MORE and Michael Flynn.