Jury begins deliberating in federal case against Trump ally

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury started deliberating Wednesday at the federal trial of a Donald Trump loyalist accused of using his access to the Republican former president to secretly promote the interests of the United Arab Emirates.

The jurors ended their first day of deliberations without a verdict in the case against Tom Barrack.

Barrack, 75, is an old friend of Trump and California billionaire who chaired Trump’s inaugural committee. He’s among of a long line of Trump associates to face various criminal charges.

Barrack has pleaded not guilty to acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, obstruction of justice and making false statements. He has vehemently denied the charges.

In closing arguments on Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Harris told jurors that Barrack schemed to become the “eyes, ears and the voice” for the Emirates as part of a criminal conspiracy to manipulate Trump’s foreign policy.

Defense attorney Randall Jackson said Barrack was an honest businessman who never hid any sinister activity.

Jury deliberations were to resume on Thursday.

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