The Justice Department alleged that Trump ally Tom Barrack secretly changed the 2016 Republican platform to shield the Saudis’ connection to 9/11, The Daily Beast reports.
Barrack, a billionaire longtime friend of former President Donald Trump, faced charges related to illegal lobbying for the United Arab Emirates before the DOJ on Tuesday charged him with two additional counts of lying to investigators.
The new indictment revealed that Barrack quietly inserted language from the Saudis and Emiratis into a Trump campaign speech about energy, where the former president vowed to “work with our Gulf allies.”
As his ties with the Emiratis grew stronger, so did Barrack’s work behind the scenes.
Seven weeks before the 2016 GOP convention, someone referred to in the indictment as “Person-1” emailed Barrack. The website Middle East Eye reported that the person was former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort.
“We need to talk about language for me to put in [the national political party] platform at national convention. Can be much more expansive than what we did in speech,” this person wrote to Barrack, adding that the “platform language” would be “based on what you hear from your friends.”
A week before the start of the convention, the draft platform was deemed to problematic by Person-1, according to the DOJ.
9/11 references removed:
Trump had promised to release a congressional report documenting the 9/11 hijackers’ ties to the Saudi royal family.
Person-1 wrote to Barrack that any mention “that was anti the Saudi Royal Family was removed from the platform.”
Barrack then forwarded the email to UAE businessman Rashid Al-Malik, who has also been indicted for spying.
Barrack wrote that the email was “very confidential but you can share with HH. Please do not circulate any further since it is very sensitive.”
Al-Malik shared the email with an Emirati official and Barrack also passed the info along to UAE Ambassador Yousel Al Otaiba.
“It underscores the hypocrisy of the Trump camp, because at that time, there was an active presidential campaign going on,” journalist Brian McGlinchey told the Daily Beast. “You’ve got the candidate out front raising deep suspicions about Saudi involvement, at the same time you have these back channel maneuvers at the Republican convention to help the Saudis avoid embarrassment.”