Trump fundraiser Barrack pleads not guilty to new charges in UAE lobbying case

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FILE PHOTO: Thomas Barrack, a billionaire friend of Donald Trump who chaired the former president's inaugural fund, arrives at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A billionaire fundraiser for former U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges in a new indictment claiming he illegally lobbied U.S. officials on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.

Federal prosecutors in the New York City borough of Brooklyn last week unveiled nine criminal charges against Thomas Barrack, including acting as an unregistered foreign agent and making false statements.

Barrack, the former head of investment management firm Colony Capital, was charged last year in a seven-count indictment.

Prosecutors say Barrack, who chaired Trump’s 2017 inaugural fund and was a frequent White House guest, used his influence to advance the UAE’s foreign policy goals in the United States without registering as a lobbyist.

According to the the latest indictment, Barrack sought investments from UAE sovereign wealth funds at the same time he was lobbying for the country.

Barrack entered his plea in a virtual hearing before U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan.

Jury selection for his trial is scheduled to begin in August.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)