Donald Trump’s Middle East money man Tom Barrack was criminally indicted quite awhile ago, and he’s since been awaiting trial. Several weeks ago, Barrack asked the courts to force the DOJ to reveal whether or not it was planning to bring additional charges against him before his trial. Today the DOJ answered that question – by hitting Barrack with a superseding criminal indictment.
If the charges were ugly for Barrack before, they’re really ugly now. The DOJ is accusing him of having routinely sold access to then-President Donald Trump to foreign countries, in exchange for personal financial enrichment. This goes well beyond being a foreign agent, and accuses Barrack of essentially espionage.
Empty Wheel has dug into the indictment filing, and believes that the new Barrack indictment involves Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. This doesn’t necessarily mean Manafort and/or Kushner will end up indicted – but it’s probably going to be enough to keep them up at night.
The bottom line is that the DOJ’s criminal indictments keep moving closer in Donald Trump’s direction. The mounting charges against Tom Barrack are pretty obviously an attempt at getting him to cut a plea deal against the rest of Trump world. Barrack had been planning to go to trial, and he may have a similar initial reaction to this superseding indictment. But once he gets a look at these additional charges, he’ll have to at least consider changing his mind.
Barrack is 75 years old, and if he’s convicted on even half of these charges, he’ll likely spend the rest of his life in prison. But if he flips on Trump, and it results in Trump being indicted, Barrack could potentially be looking at extreme leniency or even immunity.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report