What sort of sense would it make for a successful septuagenarian U.S. businessman at the end of his career to betray his country to act as an agent of the United Arab Emirates? And what sense would it make for an alleged agent of the UAE to take positions backing the emirate’s enemies in Qatar? And what does a 22-year-old personal assistant have to do with any of this?
Those are just a few of the points this week’s Am Law Litigation Daily Litigators of the Week—Michael Schachter and Randall Jackson of Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Abbe Lowell of Winston & Strawn—left with federal jurors in Brooklyn last week in defense closings for Colony Capital founder and former Donald Trump advisor Tom Barrack and his twenty-something aide-de-camp codefendant, Matthew Grimes, who were both accused of illegally acting as UAE agents. The seven-week trial included live testimony from two former members of former President Trump’s cabinet—former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin—and nearly a week on the stand by Barrack himself. With Willkie lawyers representing Barrack and Lowell representing Grimes, jurors returned across-the-board not-guilty verdicts last week after nearly two days of deliberations.