Tom Barrack, a longtime ally of Donald Trump who chaired the former president’s inaugural committee, posted $250m bail with a $5m cash security and was released from custody in California on Friday.
Barrack was arrested for conspiring to illegally exert influence over US foreign policy on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. According to the US Department of Justice, Barrack, one of three men accused, failed to register as a foreign agent.
Barrack, a billionaire, has long been close to Trump. In his book Fire and Fury, the journalist Michael Wolff characterised the two men and the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was later convicted of sex trafficking before killing himself in custody, as a “set of nightlife musketeers” in the 1980s and 1990s.
Barrack also faces a charge of obstructing justice and making false statements to the FBI about making decisions that favored the UAE.
Barrack and Matthew Grimes, 27, will be arraigned in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Monday. A spokesman for Barrack said he would plead not guilty. Barrack was ordered to wear an ankle monitor and prevented from transferring money overseas.
The third man charged, Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, has left the US.