A who’s who of the media and Washington D.C. elite could be called as witnesses in the upcoming criminal trial of billionaire financier and close Donald Trump friend, Tom Barrack.
In a 52-page jury questionnaire filed in court and obtained by Radar, prosecutors named the former president — along with members of his inner circle — as those who might be witnesses or otherwise referenced in the trial.
Even Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who was accused by US intelligence agencies of ordering the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — has been identified as someone who could make the witness box.
A number of notable journalists stood out also: Charlie Rose, the disgraced former CBS anchor, CNN’s Erin Burnett, Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC and Forbes editor Shawn Tully.
Barrack faces a seven-count indictment for allegedly acting as an agent of the United Arab Emirates between April 2016 and April 2018. Barrack is also charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal law enforcement agents.
Rose, Burnett and Tully all interviewed Barrack or featured glowing reports on him.
- Trump Grand Jury Scheduled To Hear From One More Witness In Hush Money Probe Before Potential Criminal Indictment
- Trump Went 'Ballistic' After Learning Maid Who Cleans His Bedroom Suite Was Asked to Speak With FBI, CNN Reporter Claims
- Trump's Co-Defendants Starting to Turn Against Him: Claims They're 'Hapless Pawns' While 'Piling Blame on the Apparent Kingpin'
In the indictment, federal prosecutors claim Barrack achieved some of his goals through a series of six “nationally televised” interviews in 2016 and 2017.
In a 2016 interview touting her ratings and access, CNN’s Burnett, who hosts Erin Burnett OutFront, said of Barrack: “We also had Tom Barrack, a well-known Trump supporter and real estate billionaire who has known him for 40 years and been instrumental in his campaign. We get voices like that who we feel add a lot to the story.”
In 2021, Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik said news interviewers like the trip were “Tom Barrack’s willing enablers.”
“Watching these clips opens a demoralizing window into how easily television interviewers can be manipulated, especially by rich and well-connected guests,” he wrote.
“Barrack proved adept at exploiting a few well-known features of the television age.”
While Fleiss was not named on potential witnesses, others on the list included former FBI director Robert Mueller and John Kerry, former Secretary of State.