Donald Trump is under criminal investigation in three states, but what is the DOJ doing about him on the federal level? Since he left office, Palmer Report has pointed out that if the Feds are going to make a move on Trump, they would certainly try to bust his underlings and associates first, in order to try to flip them on Trump.
This appears to be what’s happening with the Feds’ ongoing pursuit of former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Victoria Toensing, for instance. But now an old name has suddenly come front and center: Tom Barrack.
In the first half of 2017, Tom Barrack’s name was seemingly connected to every move Donald Trump made that involved the Middle East and money. Barrack appeared to be the money man on the shady dealings that Trump and Jared Kushner had with various Middle Eastern nations. But then after about six months Barrack bailed, and tried to disavow himself of Trump in a Washington Post interview.
But now, out of nowhere, Tom Barrack has been arrested today on seven felony charges that center around illegally taking politically charged money from the Middle East. In other words, Barrack just got busted for the precise kinds of things that Trump and Kushner seemed to have him doing back in 2017.
This is the latest reminder that just because a federal criminal investigation isn’t making any headlines, or in this case isn’t even publicly known to exist, it doesn’t mean nothing is happening. It turns out the Feds have been targeting Barrack for awhile now, and have built such a comprehensive case against him, it even includes obstruction charges for misleading investigators.
It’s also a reminder that no one who committed crimes for Donald Trump is safe. Tom Barrack surely thought he was off the hook by now, or else he would have sought and received a pardon from Trump on his way out the door (and no, there are no “secret pardons” this far out; that notion only exists in uninformed Twitter conversations). Yet here we are, with Barrack in handcuffs, and looking at several years in prison.
Here’s the thing about Barrack: he’s always seen himself as a respectable businessman. No matter how deep he got in with Trump and the Middle East, he always tried to portray himself as above the fray. And he has enough money that he owns Trump, not the other way around. There is no way that Barrack will go to prison for Trump.
If Barrack thinks he can use high priced lawyers to beat the charges, perhaps he’ll take it to trial. But that’s probably why the Feds made a point of taking their time and building this case out to the point that they’ve nailed Barrack for things like lying to federal investigators, which is much easier to prove to a jury. If Barrack thinks he’s likely to be convicted on any one of these seven felony counts, he’ll surely cut a deal against Trump, Kushner, and anyone else that he can.
Of course the DOJ has to want to pursue criminal cases against Trump and Kushner in order for Tom Barrack’s help to be of any use to them. But ask yourself why the Feds have now made a point of going back and building a comprehensive criminal case against someone like Barrack for things that took place years ago. It sure looks like the Feds are trying to flip people like Barrack so they can take a run at the likes of Trump and Kushner. We’ll see where this heads next.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report