Thomas Barrack, a billionaire private equity investor who chaired former president Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee, altered the official GOP platform for the 2016 Republican National Convention in an effort to minimize connections between the Saudi Royal Family and the 9/11 hijackers, according to The Daily Beast.
The Department of Justice updated its indictment against Barrack — who in July 2021 was arrested and charged with illegal lobbying, obstruction of justice, and lying to the FBI — to reveal the extent of his role at the party’s convention, which was held in Cleveland that year.
Barrack was released shortly after his arrest last year on a $250 million bond.
The revised indictment revealed that an individual listed as “Person-1” sent an email to Barrack to alter the Republican messaging at the convention.
“We need to talk about language for me to put in [the national political party] platform at the national convention. Can be much more expansive than what we did in speech,” said the individual. “Platform language [should be] based on what you hear from your friends.”
Trump sought to disclose roughly 28 pages of information that was absent from the September 11 Commission report that detailed Saudi ties to the hijackers, but “Person-1” was insistent that anything that could be construed as “anti the Saudi Royal Family” needed to be axed from the party platform.
Barrack then sent the email to Rashid Al-Malik, an Emirati businessman who last year was indicted by the Justice Department for relaying information to United Arab Emirates spies, per the report.
“Very confidential but you can share with HH,” Barrack said in a message to Al-Malik. “Please do not circulate any further since it is very sensitive.”
Federal investigators stated that Al-Malik sent the email to an unspecified Emirati official.
Brian McGlinchey, an independent journalist based in San Antonio who has sought the disclosure of the missing 9/11 documents, told The Daily Beast that the messages reflected “hypocrisy” from those in the Trump orbit.
“It underscores the hypocrisy of the Trump camp because, at that time, there was an active presidential campaign going on,” he told the publication. “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.”