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Tom Barrack, former Trump inaugural chair, released on $250 million bond

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Former Trump inaugural committee chair Tom Barrack on Friday was released from federal lockup in California on a $250 million bond ahead of his scheduled arraignment in New York on charges he acted as an agent of the United Arab Emirates and obstructed justice.

As part of the terms of his release, Barrack, 74, is subject to electronic monitoring and will have to foot the bill for his GPS ankle bracelet, Judge Patricia Donahue ordered, signing off on an agreement that had been worked out between the government and Barrack’s attorneys.

Barrack, a private equity investor and founder of the investment firm Colony Capital, also had to surrender his passports and is barred from transferring funds overseas, the judge said. He cannot trade any securities without written permission from federal prosecutors and is not allowed to transfer more than $50,000 except for attorneys fees.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn, New York on Monday. His spokesman said earlier this week that Barrack “is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty.”

A longtime friend of former President Donald Trump, Barrack had been behind bars since his arrest Tuesday on charges that he and two co-defendants were “acting and conspiring to act as agents” of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018, but without registering as foreign agents.

Prosecutors said Barrack and the others acted “to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the United States at the direction of senior UAE officials by influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign of a candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and, subsequently, the foreign policy positions of the U.S. government in the incoming administration.”

Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to federal law enforcement agents.



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Tax rising Tories 'vulnerable on right wing flank' as new poll puts stagnant Labour ahead

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A NEW opinion poll puts the Conservative Party behind Labour just days after Boris Johnson announced plans to hike national insurance contributions to fund the NHS and social care.

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Breyer calls Supreme Court’s Texas abortion ruling ‘very, very, very wrong’

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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the court’s recent ruling upholding Texas’ abortion law was “very, very, very wrong” in an interview with National Public Radio released Thursday.

“I’ll add one more ‘very,'” he told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “And I wrote a dissent. And that’s the way it works.”

Last week, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court declined to block a restrictive Texas law that bans abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which experts say is as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The law also allows anyone in the country to sue abortion providers or others who help women get the procedure after that time frame.

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court’s three liberal justices: Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Each wrote separate opinions opposing the majority decision.

Abortion rights activists argue that the lack of action by the high court dealt a crippling blow to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationally.

The Justice Department announced Thursday that it had sued Texas over the law, which the department said is “in open defiance of the Constitution.”

Breyer, who told NPR that the abortion case should not have been decided on an emergency basis, signaled that the court could address the issue during another term.

“And so we’ll see what happens in that area when we get a substantive matter in front of us,” he said.

Breyer, 83, also rebuffed calls from progressives for his early retirement to give President Joe Biden an opportunity to appoint a younger member to the liberal wing. Breyer, whom President Bill Clinton tapped for the court in 1994, said he would retire on his own terms.

“I’m only going to say that I’m not going to go beyond what I previously said on the subject. And that is that I do not believe I should stay on the Supreme Court or want to stay on the Supreme Court until I die,” he said. “And when exactly I should retire or will retire has many complex parts to it. I think I’m aware of most of them, and I am and will consider them.”



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Biden announces new vaccine mandates for millions of Americans

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