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In Indicted UAE Agent Barrack Trial TRex Oct 3 or 4 As Real Time Coverage Still Hindered

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - Access Story

EDNY Courthouse, Oct 1 – Thomas Barrack and Matthew Grimes, indicted for illegal lobbying for the United Arab Emirates, were arraigned on July 26, 2021 before U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara. Inner City Press live tweeted it here (and podcast here)

On September 21, 2022, Day 1 of the trial, Inner City Press went to EDNY in Brooklyn. After descriptions of Barrack's meetings with UAE handlers, in Morocco, Corsica and elsewhere, counsel for Matthew Grimes said his client was just an assistant, getting coffee and smoothies for his boss and taking photos of meeting. Sure, he vacations with Al Malik Alshahhi. But he was serving Colony Capital, his lawyer said.

Next up, as first witness, was an expert in Middle East affairs. A map was proffered as an exhibit, but it couldn't be seen in the overflow courtroom. And Inner City Press couldn't yet live tweet from there. Sept 21 Cadman Plaza vlog, here.

On September 22 the expert Chris Davidson was cross examined, about UAE foreign policy on Libya (pro Haftar), Yemen (bombing) and Egypt (overthrow Morsi). The defense tried to trip him up on the "ADQ," which he heard as "EDQ."

Then the US State Department's Matthew McGuire, about visas given to the UAE officials, and how even Iran gets visas to come to the UN.

At the end Judge Cogan told the jury, during the break, not to use Twitter or "My Space, do we still have it?" And still no action by EDNY D.E. on getting similar access as others. Sept 22 Cadman Plaza vlog here.

On September 28 when the trial resumed, Tom Barrack was again standing imperious at the defense table, as for example his lawyer cross examined a US linguist on whether it was to ALIGN a plan of 100 days / 4 months / 1 year / 4 years with Trump, or to "go with." The linguist said the latter didn't make sense, even in English much less Arabic.
  Grimes' lawyer established that the witness knew nothing of Matthew Grimes. Earlier, the cross had been about metadata of iPhone photos from Rabat, not Marrakesh in Morocco. The trial day concluded with a lengthy stipulation about the roles of Mike Pompeo, General Mattis and others. Judge Cogan told the jurors not to Google. On the way down, Barrack was told there was a "press conference" outside, and to wait. It was about a church robbery in Brooklyn (which Inner City Press also covered). And STILL no approval from EDNY District Executive Eugene E. Corcoran. His Office said to put in another letter, the third, despite approval previously having been given to bring phone in for US v. Roger Ng in EDNY. What gives? Watch this site. And Sept 28 EDNY vlog

On September 29, FBI Special Agent Liz Sidaros was on the stand, describing exhibit after exhibit showing Barrack bragging about his UAE Royal family promotion work, on Charlie Rose on Bloomberg and elsewhere. There are demands that he call Sheikh Tahnoon, and fly by private jet to Morocco. Inner City Press aims to upload many of these exhibits - and to get its application for a press pass to bring in phone and laptop like others, for this and many more EDNY cases, here. Twitter Space here, vlog here.

On September 30, FBI Special Agent Liz Sidaros was still on the stand, for a trial day that ran only from 1:15 to 4:30 pm. There was  TV interview in which Barrack pivoted from interest rates to ISIS to, what else, the UAE and its leadership. Malik and Grimes were texting constantly, trying to hook the principals up.

Afterward, Grimes greeted the gallery including this reporter, then Barrack himself as he left court. Next week will be chopped up by a half day and Columbus Day - and, still, for Inner City Press by not having its phone as applied for nine days ago, with two letters and two calls since to the Office of District Executive Eugene J. Corcoran. He was the papers. And we have the exhibits. Watch this site - and this Sept 30 vlog, and Twitter Space here.

To view e-mail exhibits tweets after the court day (when phone back) by Inner City Press, click here and here and here - Feinstein's husband. 

On Saturday Oct 1, Barrack's counsel filed this: "Today, the Government informed the defense that it had “finalized the decision to call Secretary Tillerson as a witness.” The Government also informed the defense that, due to personal plans, the Secretary is not available after October 4, 2022, and therefore the Government requested the defendants’ consent to call him out of order on the morning of Tuesday, October 4, 2022, interrupting the defendants’ anticipated crosses of the current witness. Even on this inexplicably short notice, the defense has no objection to taking Secretary Tillerson out of order. For two reasons, however, we respectfully request that the Government be ordered" - full filing on Patreon here.

 Back on August 3, 2021 Grimes asked the Court for permission to travel to New York where his lawyers are based - and then to take the train to Boston (the conditions of release were limited and car and common air carrier, with private jet access cited). Letter on CourtListener here.

On November 2, Judge Cogan held another proceeding in the case - but no listen-only call-in line was provided, unlike the in-person EDNY guilty plea the same day in US v. Daniel Rendon Herrera, a Colombian drug kingpin charged with continuing criminal enterprise and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization before Judge Dora L. Irizarry. Inner City Press live tweeted thread here.

Why less transparency on Barrack?

And on the morning of jury selection, this: "Order Re [225]. The Court will reserve the left half of the second row for in-house accredited press, as the first row will be reserved for defendants family and friends. In-house accredited press will be permitted to observe jury selection from the gallery and will have access to a transcript. Additionally, members of the in-house accredited press will be permitted to have their phones and laptops in the overflow courtroom. Ordered by Judge Brian M. Cogan on 9/19/2022." Will that continue into the trial?

  In the same EDNY courthouse, Judge Dearie's September 20 proceeding on the Donald Trump / Mar-a-Lago documents will have a call-in line. Why not the Barrack trial? The office to apply to bring electronics in to cover it is open only 10-1 and 2 to 3 - watch this site.

From Judge Cogan, these rulings: "Defendants’ [162/163] motion in limine is conditionally denied and part of the Government’s [168/169] motion in limine is conditionally granted. The Court defers ruling on whether the Government has proven the existence of a conspiracy to violate Section 951 with respect to the UAE’s interests in Qatar and whether Al Malik’s notes were made in furtherance of such a conspiracy until the end of the Government’s case. See United States v. Geaney, 417 F.2d 1116, 1120 (2d Cir. 1969); United States v. SKW Metals & Alloys, Inc., 195 F.3d 83, 88-89 (2d Cir. 1999). Whether there will be any direct testimony as to Al Malik’s purpose in creating these notes is not determinative for purposes of determining whether the evidence is admissible, although defendants are free to argue that the lack of direct testimony should diminish the weight of the evidence. See United States v. Maldonado-Rivera, 922 F.2d 934, 957 (2d Cir. 1990). 2. Barrack’s [199] motion is conditionally denied. Nothing suggests that the Government is “mak[ing] a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal” under N.Y. R. Prof’l Conduct 3.3 by arguing that Barrack was involved in securing the ADIA investment. The Government will not be precluded from offering into evidence the “Barrack Magic” investment tracker – provided that the Government can establish a connection between Barrack and ADIA’s investment in DCP I – because the Government has represented that it intends to elicit testimony from witnesses who worked at Colony and know the reference." Watch this site.

On March 15, 2022, with the UAE Mission to the UN under Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh refusing to answer written questions from Inner City Press and documents sealed in EDNY, this Barrack argument; "while the indictment alleges that Mr. Barrack spoke positively about the UAE in the media, see Indictment ¶ 24, those allegations do not show he was the UAE’s agent, see Mot. 7."

On May 24, 2022, Judge Cogan held a proceeding and Inner City Press live tweeted it, here.

On August 29, in a nearly final pre-trial conference before the September 19 trial, Judge Cogan held a conference. Inner City Press live tweeted here and below.

On September 6, represented by until recently SDNY prosecutor Emil Bove, Barrack's former staff Alison Marckstadt filed as an Interested Party, seeking to quash a Rule 17(C) subpoena. Previously, as Barrack's assistant Alison Marckstadt replied, "Unfortunately, Mr. Barrack is unable to accommodate your deadline, as he is traveling"....

Also on September 6 from Team Barrack, this: "MOTION in Limine to Exclude Prejudicial Evidence and Argument Related to Wealth, Spending, and Lifestyle by Thomas Joseph Barrack. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit 1-6 (Filed Under Seal) (Schachter, Michael)."

From August 29, 2022: OK - now in near final pre-trial conference for US v. Barrack and Grimes for UAE spying, Barrack's lawyer says jurors seeing his ankle bracelet would be prejudicial.

Judge Cogan: Just don't wear shorts. 

Defense says that proposal to modify Grimes' grand jury testimony to switch "Tom Barrack" to "the other guy" is like "something out of my Cousin Vinny."

AUSA: No, it's not from My Cousin Vinny, it's from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

 Judge Cogan: We'll find a war room for the defense, as close to the courtroom as possible. The prosecution, it's easier for them, they're right across the street...  I could tell the jury, you may be here until January. Just tell me long you'd need.

Defense: If we put on a case, it would be two or three weeks. But we don't know yet.

Judge: I like to say, "The case will take this long," without telling them, the US versus the defense's case. Just project the end date. I think the US adds 25 to 50% to estimate

Voice: Can I cut in?

Judge Cogan: Who is that?
2d voice: The public line.

Judge Cogan: Silence that.

[Note: Inner City Press believes there should be a listen only call in line for this national security trial, given COVID etc.]

 Defense: We don't want a surprise co-conspirator to show in trial. Judge Cogan: The US has been over-inclusive in listing everyone they might call (as) a co-conspirator. Could the government be more specific?

AUSA: It's not as much a mystery as the defense says.

AUSA: There is no requirement that we name every co-conspirator in a conspiracy trial. Judge (to defense) That's the best I can do for you.

Defense: They have an obligation to ID for us every co-conspirators they are going to allege during the trial.

Abbe Lowell: There are motions in limine pending. Given that some of these, I take it, are statements between people we didn't know - that was my point.

Judge Cogan: Mr. Lowell, as a practical matter, I'm including to take evidence like that subject to connection. 

Judge Cogan: I will see you all on September 19. Adjourned.

Back on March 22, 2022, Judge Cogan held a proceeding and Inner City Press again covered it, thread here:

OK - now in case of indicted United Arab Emirates illegal lobbyist Tom Barrack, a proceeding in EDNY.

Judge  Cogan: When can you file your motion - in 2 weeks? The answer is yes. Defense counsel asks for right to reply.

Judge Cogan: What about the Curcio [possible conflict of interest of counsel] hearing?  Let's do it 5:30 on April 7.

 Judge Cogan: I'd be willing to do the trial by video... [Why not? At least a public listen-only call-in line]

Judge Cogan: Is US going to supersede?  AUSA: We are mindful of trial timing, either way we won't impact it. Judge: When will you know? AUSA: By mid June.

AUSA: Your Honor will see us on May 19 on the CIPA issues. We may know by then. Judge Cogan: What might a superseding indictment look like, do you know? AUSA: We know.

  Judge Cogan: Would it mess up the trial schedule? AUSA: We don't think so. No new CIPA.

Judge Cogan: We have another status conference, say, May 24, 11:30 am. It's been designated complex, so [Speedy Trial Act] time is excluded. 

The case is USA V. AL MALIK ALSHAHHI et al., 21-cr-371 (EDNY, Cogan, J.)


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