Former President Donald Trump's billionaire friend Thomas Barrack altered the GOP platform at the 2016 Republican National Convention to shield the Saudi royal family's ties to the 9/11 hijackers.
The Department of Justice updated its indictment against the chairman of Trump's 2017 inaugural committee, who was arrested last year on charges of foreign lobbying and obstruction of justice, to show the role Barrack played in the RNC convention held in Cleveland, Ohio, reported The Daily Beast.
"It underscores the hypocrisy of the Trump camp, because at that time, there was an active presidential campaign going on," said Brian McGlinchey, an independent journalist from Texas who has pushed for the release of missing records from the 9/11 probe. "You've got the candidate out front raising deep suspicions about Saudi involvement, at the same time you have these back channel maneuvers at the Republican convention to help the Saudis avoid embarrassment."
Congressional investigators have already learned that Barrack allowed the Saudis and Emiratis to alter a Trump campaign speech on energy, where he pledge to "work with our Gulf allies," and the DOJ's revised indictment shows that someone identified only as "Person-1" emailed Barrack to massage GOP talking points at the convention.
"We need to talk about language for me to put in [the national political party] platform at national convention. Can be much more expansive than what we did in speech," wrote that person, who the news site Middle East Eye suspects was Paul Manafort. "Platform language [should be] based on what you hear from your friends."
Trump had pledged to release the infamous 28 pages that were missing from the 9/11 Commission Report that showed the Saudi royal family's ties to the hijackers, but "Person-1" demanded that anything that could be considered "anti the Saudi Royal Family" must be removed from the platform.
Barrack then forwarded that email to Emirati businessman Rashid Al-Malik, who has been indicted by the DOJ for allegedly passing information to United Arab Emirates spies.
"Very confidential but you can share with HH," Barrack wrote to Al-Malik. "Please do not circulate any further since it is very sensitive."
However, federal investigators say Al-Malik forwarded that email to an unnamed Emirati official, and Barrack is also accused of sharing that message with yet another unnamed Emirati official who has been identified by reporters as UAE ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, who remains in that post in Washington, D.C.
Barrack has been indicted on two new charges of lying to the FBI during a July 2019 interview, after investigators say he lied about having an additional phone that was a dedicated line for secretly communicating with the Emiratis.