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Justice Department had enough evidence to charge Tom Barrack early in 2020, but waited until after Trump left office to indict him

CNN: “Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn investigating Tom Barrack, a prominent ally to former President Donald Trump, for allegedly violating foreign lobbying laws had enough evidence to bring charges last year, but held off doing so until the arrival of the new presidential administration, according to people briefed on the matter. Prosecutors wanted to move forward on the case and believed they could obtain an indictment, one source familiar with the matter said. The source said the investigation was mostly done well before the time period when prosecutors are discouraged from advancing politically sensitive matters ahead of an election. But two sources tell CNN the US attorney in Brooklyn at the time, Richard Donoghue, expressed misgivings about the case.”

“It’s unclear if he delayed the case outright or if prosecutors chose not to move forward at the time knowing the US attorney would not support it. Donoghue did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. Donoghue’s then-boss, former Attorney General William Barr, was also known inside the department to have reservations, in general, about foreign lobbying cases, which the Justice Department has struggled to prosecute in the past. A spokesman for the Brooklyn US attorney’s office declined to comment. The case, which was charged Tuesday, became among the sensitive matters that awaited the arrival of the Biden administration’s Justice Department officials this year. Barrack’s indictment struck a blow in Trump circles because of his close association with ‘Donny,’ as Barrack referred to the former President in a deposition last year. With a four decade-old friendship with Trump and his position as an adviser during the 2016 campaign, transition and early days of the administration, Barrack is well-informed about people around the former president, and about events that have already prompted criminal charges.”

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